A picture posted on Instagram shows an aisle at an Adelaide supermarket filled with gift ideas for mums, but its suggestion of cleaning products and sanitary items being ideal gifts for women has people riled up.
"Happy Mother’s Day from Coles. We hope your mum loves the bottles of Pine O Cleen, the peg basket and the incontinence pads," a caption alongside the photo mocked. In it washing liquid, cleaning spray and menstrual cups sat alongside fluffy slippers, rugs and gift packs.
Questionable display ridiculed on social media
The picture was captured by a Coles shopper and shared on an Adelaide-based satire page. Many people implied the seemingly innocent act is sexist and called out Coles for suggesting such items as gifts for mums.
"Don’t know what’s worse, the fabric softener down the bottom or the period undies on the top shelf," one person said. "I'll have to send the kids there to pick up my present, can’t wait to find out if I’m doing laundry or disinfecting the bathroom for Mother’s Day," one mum mocked.
Others took aim at the "missed opportunity" by Coles to include other household items including oven mitts and an ironing board.
"Surely pots and pans or a toasted sandwich maker?" another said, taking aim at the post. "The audacity," one wrote tagging friends.
Coles responds to Mother's Day backlash
Coles confirmed to Yahoo this is an "isolated case" and said the items have since been moved to a more suitable aisle inside the country supermarket. The supermarket claimed an "unintentional human error" was to blame.
"We are grateful this has been drawn to our attention and our Coles team in Adelaide apologises for this error," Coles said in a statement. "This was an unintentional human error where recently discontinued products, including sanitary and cleaning supplies were placed along the seasonal 'flex aisle'."
"Celebrating Mothers and Mother figures is such an important occasion at Coles and we are committed to providing the best value and range of gifts to make this weekend extra special," they added. "We wish for all Mums and Mums-to-be and those who are remembering their mothers this weekend to have a memorable, and special day."
Coles' repeated behaviour
The same thing happened in 2020 with Coles at the time responding to the backlash. Boxes of washing power were front and centre as part of the Mother's Day display, causing fury amount many.
A Coles spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia the supermarket would "review the layout in future" so as not to "offend customers with the placement of these products".
"Our annual range of Mother’s Day gifts, which include treats like slippers, mugs and chocolates, are popular with our customers and are usually displayed in a special section of our store, often alongside other promotions," the spokesperson said at the time.
Yahoo News Australia has contacted Coles for comment.
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