A pun can be a great thing until someone takes offense to it. Such is the case for Nordstrom, which previously offered the Faux Real sweater seen above. Though kitschy sweaters are popular on the holiday party circuit, Nordstrom's customers expressed their disappointment in a Hanukkah-themed sweater featuring a menorah, the Star of David, dreidels and the phrase "Chai Maintenance." ("Chai" means "life" in Hebrew and pronounced like "high.") After customers voiced their complaints on Nordstrom's Facebook page last week, the department store swiftly responded by removing the product from its store shelves and online.
Nordstrom is the latest to join a slew of retailers who have upset customers with holiday-inspired merchandise and campaigns. Just last week, Bloomingdale's turned heads with a party-themed advertisement that some construed as an endorsement of date rape. (The text says, "Spike your best friend's eggnog when they're not looking." Bloomingdale's issued an apology on Facebook.) Target was also under fire for its "OCD: Obsessive Christmas Disorder" sweater, which makes a joke out of mental illness. (The big box retailer issued an apology but continues to offer the item for sale.) This past Halloween, Walmart enlisted a team to rid its inventory of any offending costumes.
A representative from Nordstrom informed Fashionista that the sweater has not been available since last Monday, and provided the following statement:
"We made a mistake by not looking more closely at the words on the sweater before we posted it — had we done so, we wouldn't have offered it. As soon as we heard from customers, we removed it from our site right away. We're terribly sorry for offending people and sincerely apologize."