H&M sells seasonal fashion at the right seasonal timing, the international retailer says – after a Christmas T-shirt was spotted in one of it’s South Africa stores in April.
Investment specialist Delphine Govender spotted the Christmas shirt featuring the popular yellow Minions from the movie "Despicable Me".
The Minions were covered with Christmas tinsel, and some held Christmas baubles and other Christmas decorations.
The words "it's the spirit that counts" round out the holiday theme.
“This is what happens when global northern hemisphere focused retailers like [H&M] send ‘last season’s’ product to their southern hemisphere, third world, regions,” Govender wrote in a Twitter post.
“And the local buyers don’t think any better!! We get [Christmas] tops in April/May because it’s the ‘winter range’”.
This is what happens when global northern hemisphere focused retailers like @hm send “last season” product to their southern hemisphere (3rd world?) regions and the local buyers don’t think any better!! We get Xmas tops in April/May because it’s the “winter range” @hmsouthafrica pic.twitter.com/uIW3VF6zde— Delphine Govender (@Delphine_DG) April 27, 2018
H&M South Africa at first dismissed the idea that Christmas clothing was on sale in April.
“I checked with our merchandisers and we stock ‘Holiday’ campaign items, but at the right season,” spokesperson Amelia-May Woudstra told Business Insider South Africa.
“In general we carry the same collections in all markets (nearly 80 percent),” Woudstra said.
“Markets in the southern hemisphere receive brand building and trend collections (such as Designer Collaboration, Conscious Exclusive & H&M Studio) at the same time as the northern hemisphere.”
H&M found itself in hot water in January after posting a photo of a black child who wore a jacket with the words "coolest monkey in the jungle" as advertising.
H&M, now with 18 stores in the South Africa, has since announced it is considering South African suppliers.
It currently imports all its clothes for the South African market.
“Following their apology [over the January incident] ... we have proposed that they atone very practically by sourcing goods from South Africa,” Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Economic Development, was quoted as saying.
Woudstra, however, emphasised that H&M's assessment is in the early stages.
“We will inform you if we have decided to form any partnerships with local suppliers,” Woudstra said.