Walmart have been forced to apologize after they appeared to market firearms as “back to school” items.
A picture from one of their stores appeared on Twitter Wednesday, which showed a case of guns with the sign “Own the school year like a hero” above it.
The user who posted the image to Twitter captioned it: “uhhhh @Walmart we need to talk” and it didn’t take long before the post went viral as the internet tore apart the store.
— sara (@thisbemesara) August 9, 2017
It’s not ok because of Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, UCC and all the other school shootings.
— Michelle Parker SPHR (@parker_poses) August 10, 2017
A random customer picked up a sign and propped it on a gun case for giggles. That’s almost certainly how it happened.
— Matthew Edmund (@childofnewlight) August 10, 2017
— Boring At Parties (@lawduckfan) August 9, 2017
I see Walmart has taken the Betsy DeVos approach to back to school sales. pic.twitter.com/2ecV2UYxIO
— Amadeus Almighty (@AmadeusAlmighty) August 10, 2017
Whether it was a prank or not, Walmart did not take it lightly and were quick to condemn the advertising mistake, replying to the user: “This is definitely not okay, Sara. We’re very sorry and checking into how this could have happened. –Valerie”
They later issued an official apology, calling it “truly awful” and “horrible”.
Speaking to The Washington Post a spokesperson for the company said it was “not happy” and was working “diligently” to discover where and which store the photo was taken in so they could have it removed.
Spokesperson Charlie Crowson said: “What’s seen in this photograph would never be acceptable in our stores. We regret this situation and are looking into how it could have happened.”
According to Crowson the photo came from a store in Evansville, Indiana.
Another user, Leeanna May, also posted images of the display and confirmed it was a store in Evansville. She told the Post said had taken the image on a morning shopping trip with her husband and said they found the display “disgusting”.
Claiming they immediately made the connection between the sign and school shootings and claimed it was no laughing matter. “We have already lost so many innocent lives to guns,” she told the paper.
May said she alerted staff to the issue though said people didn’t “seem to honestly care”.