By Claire Ferris-Lay
Sportswear giant offended customers after emblazing UAE flag on limited edition trainers
Sportswear retailer Puma has been forced to apologise for offending its customers after it released a pair of limited edition trainers to mark the UAE’s 40th National Day.
The world’s third-largest sportswear brand pulled the AED690 trainers, which featured the colours of the UAE national flag, from its stores.
“Puma took the feedback from our consumers very seriously and has indefinitely actioned the removal of the shoe from all stores,” a spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
“Puma apologises for any trouble caused on this matter. The shoe was never intended to upset or offend our customers here in the Middle East, but to give the people of the UAE a piece of locally-created design as a symbol of recognition of this great occasion.”
It is not the first time an international retailer has had to apologise for causing offence to UAE nationals. British department store Harvey Nichols in July 2009 was forced to pull a t-shirt, depicting a bulldog standing on the UAE national flag, from its shelves following several complaints.
The store was forced to close down and remove the t-shirts following complaints on a local radio station. Harvey Nichols blamed the incident on a blunder from one of its international suppliers.