Walmart Nazi Tshirt Watch: Week 22

inset.jpg22 weeks after Walmart agreed to remove shirts bearing Nazi iconography from its shelves, and 10 weeks after getting a letter from Congress demanding the shirts removal, they’re still there.

Amanda’s sister found a whole bunch in Ohio:

I had nearly forgotten about the whole thing when I received a call from my sister, Ali, in Bowling Green, Ohio. Apparently, they have a whole stack of the shirts! She described them very accurately on the phone, so I instructed her to buy a couple, and take lots of pictures.

She initially had some difficulty, but after flirting with the checkout guy, managed to purchase one.

Attached is a picture she took in the store, and a couple of pics of the shirt after she got it home. …

Anyway, boo walmart, yay consumerist!

The most advanced supply-chain management system in the world is easily felled by a little dose of feminine charm. Happy Birthday, Hitler.


ohioshirtsonshelves.jpg

http://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/nazireceipt-thumb.jpg?w=522&h=696

http://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/nazishirtchair-thumb.jpg?w=522&h=696

Recent updates to this story.
Backstory.

— BEN POPKEN

Comments

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  1. FreakyStyley says:

    Every time I go to Wal-Mart, I hope that I am lucky enough to find one. Alas, not yet.

  2. Greeper says:

    Congress sent them a letter? Maybe they should focus their efforts on more important things than worrying about a store selling T-Shirts people don’t like.

  3. tcabeen says:

    A few years ago, I moved into an apartment in Yonkers that had really nice parquet flooring. The house was gorgeous, and the apartment conversion was an abomination, but whatever. The flooring in the bedroom was bordered in what I thought were Swastikas. After doing some research, they turned out to be Swavastikas (backwards, basically), and I was able to trace their usage all the way back to Sanskrit. That was a cool eye-opener.

  4. B says:

    Have you considered setting the shirts on fire? Apparently that is the quickest way to get a manger’s attention.

  5. LordSkippy says:

    I was one at my local Wal-Mart a few weeks back. The pricing stick below it actually listed it as “Recall shirt.”

  6. grkgus says:

    Pics of sister?

  7. faust1200 says:

    I knew Wal-Mart Nazi shirt wasn’t dead. They were just regrouping.


    Consumerist Forums http://consumerist.proboards88.com since 1978

  8. mantari says:

    I can’t say that I’m terribly surprised, or really upset by this. So I guess I’m going to be a hater on this story. So… hmmmm… what would be an appropriate enough catch phrase to use? Ah!

    “I’m not feeling it, Consumerist.”

  9. jlrolin says:

    Most advanced supply chain management? Hardly advanced when you still have to rely on employees to follow simple instructions to take the supply off the shelf. The “Advanced” in the supply chain management probably refers to the fact that the inventories auto update according to on-hand counts. For the most part, all the ordering is self-sufficient. That’s why they concentrate on shrink-loss(stolen, damaged, or loss of a good). If they have very low amounts of that, then the counts will be more accurate leading to more accurate ordering, leading to less spending on ordering that wasn’t needed.

    That has nothing to do with them taking a product off the shelf. Just like with the tainted pet food, they should have had the UPCs flag at the register, but that backfired with the pet food as well. Plain and simple, Wal-mart drops the ball again… even when I worked for them in college, it was the same thing every day, management dropping the ball on everything.

  10. My only issue is that the person bought it. As long as people buy them Wal-Mart is going to keep putting them out there.

  11. jpt212 says:

    SUCH gusto! A little too gleeful in tone. The point of a BOYCOTT is to NOT BUY the offending item.

    Perhaps I’m missing the point but she seems to go to great lengths to buy the shirt, going so far as to have her sister scour the country-side for the item, and then put on a show for the checkout boy.

    The correct next course of action would be
    a.) return the item after documenting
    b.) return the item with the action news team and holocaust survivors in tow.
    c.) NEVER SHOP AT WALMART

  12. Codis says:

    I actually went to Bowling Green for college. I was one of maybe 10 Jews on the entire campus, so you can’t blame those inbred hillbillies for not realizing whats going on.

  13. rugger_can says:

    What I’d like to know.. whats since 1978?

  14. Phil says:

    Aren’t you encouraging the sale of this stuff? I get that it’s a test to see if it can be bought at the register, but c’mon – I’ve seen at least 5 stories of these shirts being purchased on this blog. What to do with the shirts? Let’s turn it around. Can people mail them to you to be burnt or something?

  15. y2julio says:

    “She initially had some difficulty, but after flirting with the checkout guy, managed to purchase one.”
    Anyone noticed this? Seems like they werent just easily selling them. Looks like she forced the guy to sell them.

  16. blinky_guy says:

    I don’t like this shirt any more than anyone else, but last I checked this is still a free country. Freedom of speech still applies, even here.
    Congress should not be able to tell them to stop selling this product.
    If everyone wants to defend their porn and rap music in the name of free speech, then this sort of thing also applies. You can’t have it both ways.

  17. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @y2julio:

    Forced is a strong word.

    I doubt the cashier realized the concern with the shirts, saying “Congress said these shirts shouldn’t be sold, but your sexuality has forced me to sell them to you!”

  18. y2julio says:

    @AlteredBeast: Maybe forced was the wrong word to use, but it still does not change the fact that she had to push to get the t-shirt to be sold.

  19. Mr. Gunn says:

    They’re just taking the piss, now.

  20. Eric says:

    Whats the deal with the shirt? The font? I am missing the significance.

  21. Eric says:

    Nevermind, I see. I am a moron sometimes.

  22. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @y2julio:

    True, the computer system was blocking the sale.

    Problem is, it seems all the actual human employees at the store weren’t made aware of what the computer was aware of (the managers, those handling stock, chashier, etc).

  23. jeff318 says:

    This is unbelievable. Oh well, more content for my report on this!

  24. valkin says:

    I hope she’s going to return that shirt.

  25. jeblis says:

    This again… I’d go get one out of spite, but I hate Walmart for other reasons.

  26. MonkeyMonk says:

    I’m sure Walmart isn’t destroying the Nazi shirts anyway . . . they’re just relocating them all to Argentina.

  27. bbbici says:

    And what is wrong with a shirt with a historical emblem?

    do you think toy and hobby shops should not be allowed to sell miniature German army figurines and vehicles, etc?

    last time i checked walmart gets 46% of its goods from china, which has horrible human rights abuses and was also the enemy of the UN during the korean war.

  28. kostia says:

    I’m shocked the Wal-Mart cashier was able to deal with someone handing them $10.35 for an $8.34 purchase. Every time I try to do something like that the cashier’s head starts to smoke.

  29. exkon says:

    Wait, you had to flirt to buy the t-shirt? Unfair I say.

  30. 0x12is18 says:

    I called the store (using the number from the receipt). I talked to a member of management and she seemed pretty sure that they weren’t selling a Nazi-related shirt. I told her that I had photographic proof. I asked her if she wanted the UPC number or a description of the shirt and she said no. She was sure they were selling nothing like this.

    I think more people should call them. She seems to know nothing about the shirts or letter from Congress, or the fact that the shirts are supposed to be flagged in the system.

  31. 0x12is18 says:

    As a side note: if someone from Walmart’s Higher-Up will take the information, that TC#(transaction number) tells them the store, the time, the register, and the cashier involved in the transaction.

  32. J DTZR says:

    If the shirts are not for sale and this gal’s sister had to make goo-goo eyes at the cashier to buy it, WHY ARE THEY ON THE SHELVES? Are Wal-Mart stockrooms so jam-packed with merch that they can’t cram a few verboten t-shirts back there?

  33. pestie says:

    @grkgus: Heh… Who’s hotter? Ali? Or Ali’s seester? Strong Bad FTW!

  34. Trai_Dep says:

    Ben (and crew) -

    Hope you guys have an update for poisoned pet food on Wal-Mart shelves. Also hope you do an update to the “Yahoo deletes all 300 services based on unexplained, imcomprehensible user ‘error'” story. You guys said you sent an email to Yahoo for clarification. I remember snickering to myself thinking, “yeah THAT will work…”

    Seriously. No snark.

    Can you follow up on these? Shame these guys into doing the right thing.

    Thanks!

  35. akling4 says:

    this is ali’s sister…with a few updates….
    1. in response to jpt212- I didn’t send my sister out “scouring the countryside” for the offending shirt. as my email said, I had forgotten about the whole thing when she called me.

    2. the reason I had her buy a shirt is because I wanted to make sure we had photographic proof that they were STILL on the shelves, and I though a dated receipt would be the best way to accomplish that.

    3. In response to all the folks who say that buying the shirts encourages wal-mart to keep them on the shelves: Obviously, nothing that anyone (including members of congress) has said or done makes the slightest difference in wal-mart’s unwillingness or inability to remove the shirts from the stores.

    4. to explain exactly how she got a shirt out of the store….apparently, my sister is more tricky than flirtatious. She simply had the guy scan a different shirt for the same price, explaining that “she was in a hurry.”

    The problem here isn’t that she was able to obtain a shirt, but that 22 weeks later, the shirts are still on the shelves, and the managers and other employees OBVIOUSLY are unaware of the situation. Making the shirts ‘unsellable’ in the computer system is apparently the only thing wal-mart has successfully done in response- far from an adequate remedy to this situation.

    5. As to what should be done with the shirt….being a bit of a pyro myself, I sort of really like the notion of setting it on fire…perhaps in a wal-mart parking lot? I’m going to look into the statutory restrictions on civil disobedience here in ohio. (maybe arson too?) However, if people have better ideas, we’re def open to suggestion.

    6. (and finally, sorry this is turning into quite the manifesto) in response to pestie… “who’s hotter ali or ali’s seester?” I def am….good thing that’s settled.

  36. ivieso says:

    @grkgus: I second this

  37. FLConsumer says:

    Anyone want to guess how many recalled products are still on Mal-Wart’s shelves at this point? Anyone still buying food @ Mal-Wart? (I never did).

  38. chimichurri says:

    I saw a bunch here in the Wal-Mart here in Bergen County, NJ about 2 weeks ago and found it very odd considering I read your original post about this some time ago. I figured they’d have pulled them for sure – I guess Congress means nothing to them either.

  39. enroper says:

    This doesn’t surprise me the least bit. I was in WalMart two weeks ago. Stuffed away in the aisles of the mens clothing department, were boxes of formerly recalled peanut butter.

    Correct. _That_ peanut butter. The salmonella containing creamy spread of doom that was yanked from store shelves weeks ago. I’m curious to know why it was still in the store, and if it winds up back on the shelves.

  40. bentcorner says:

    At least they have FINALLY been removed from the centralized Wal-Mart pricing computer. I think this is what bothered me the most. Wal-Mart had the technology to quickly and easily remove the barcode from their centralized pricing computer. They chose not to.

    You can bet that they would let a t-shirt sit on the shelf that depicted Sam Walton having sexual relations with a billy goat. I’m fairly certain you wouldn’t be able to find THAT shirt weeks or months later.

  41. RonUSMC says:

    “4. to explain exactly how she got a shirt out of the store….apparently, my sister is more tricky than flirtatious. She simply had the guy scan a different shirt for the same price, explaining that “she was in a hurry.””

    Thats not tricky, its illegal and considered theft.

  42. freedomlover says:

    WalMart isn’t the only Nazi on the retail block. It’s fairly well known that 88/HH are Nazi code for “Heil Hitler”. This week, JC Penney sent out flyers in local papers for a huge sale on April 20 (Hitler’s birthday) and the 21st. Featured items were priced at “Buy one at regular price, get the second item for 88 cents”, a special that this avid ad-reader has never seen from this company in her lifetime.
    JC Penney always has been Christian-identified, and owns a retirement community for retired Christian preacher, but apparently now considers covert Hitlerism a selling point.
    I’d take one Librescu over six million Nazi’s, and I’m not even Jewish. JCP is off my shopping list for the rest of my lifetime, or until the company is as dead as their mass murderer.

  43. unamericanvalues says:

    Seeing as how the letter of Congress wasn’t enough to get them to remove the shirt. Maybe the U.N might actually have to get involved**,And sanction Wal-Mart. And of course all Wal-Mart will do is put a block on the registers so that product can’t be sold; all the while their blue smocked “associates” are restocking the recalled dog food and the t-shirts at night.

    **involved actually means that the U.N might actually do something after a decade long hiatus, shocking isn’t it?

  44. pruckelshaus says:

    Want to get the t-shirts off of Wally World’s shelves? Tell them that they’re thinking about starting a union.

    Seriously, though, it is neither particularly clever not is it that intelligent to directly copy such a loathsome symbol (compare the above symbol pictured on the shirts to the one found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Division_Totenkopf) onto a commercial product and then have the world’s larget retailer sell it; at the very least, the designer of the shirt was smart enough to not use “Seit jahre 1939″.

  45. danjonwig says:

    I don’t understand why it was necessary for the girl to flirt with a salesman in order to purchase the shirt – can you explain this a little more? Not only do they carry these shirts, but they are actually discriminate as to who is allowed to buy one?

  46. Sudonum says:

    I heard that they were giving the shirts away free with purchase of a bag of recalled dog food.

  47. Trai_Dep says:

    @RonUSMC: based on your comment, you’re a flaming, ignorant idiot. Look up “theft” and “illegal” then get back to us, okay Einstein?

    LOVE these apologists trolling the site.

    Hey, Ron just remember: if Wal-Mart can’t sell poisoned pet food b/c shipping them back is $0.03 more expensive, then the terrorists have won!

  48. dalieu says:

    “bbbici says:

    And what is wrong with a shirt with a historical emblem?

    do you think toy and hobby shops should not be allowed to sell miniature German army figurines and vehicles, etc?

    last time i checked walmart gets 46% of its goods from china, which has horrible human rights abuses and was also the enemy of the UN during the korean war.”

    I agree with bbbici. I saw a documentary on a factory in China with sweatshop like conditions making jeans for Walmart. The women there are underpaid, not paid on time, and overworked. Instead of doing something about that, here we are complaining about a symbol on a t-shirt, talk about having nothing better to do.

  49. SteveyDevey says:

    @Cordis:

    I live in Bowling Green, and I find your comment personally offensive. You’re making derogatory remarks about a whole town, while at the same time mentioning the fact that you’re a jew? How does that not imply that everyone in Bowling Green is racist? How can that be anything other than an amazingly prejudice thing to say, especially when you’re talking about being able to identify archaic nazi iconography?

    And why would an oversight by the management at WalMart show that my town is full of “inbred hillbillies”?

  50. adc86 says:

    Whatever happened to free speech? So what if you don’t like it; I don’t like it either. Why is it so hard for people nowadays to let things go? It has been established that Walmart has no concern for anything but money.

    Add this offense to a list, and don’t support them in doing this- however, it’s no one’s business here to dictate how capitalism is carried out in any way beyond that.

  51. DuckFOO says:

    I personally don’t think it was wrong of Walmart to sell these shirts, although I don’t care for the shirt in question. Stores sell things that we don’t like all the time.

    For example, if it were up to me, you wouldn’t be able to buy a shirt with the Confederate Flag on it, as I consider it to be the flag of traitors. But I support the rights of stores to sell it and people to buy it.

    Sometimes, you have to let people make their own choices.

  52. shdwsclan says:

    Since 1978?
    I dont get it.

    There are a bunch of USSR themed clothing stores called defect, and they are not banned at all…

  53. jillian says:

    I wrote the Wake Up Wal Mart campaign about this – but these are no worse than the crap carried by Hot Topic. Nazi imagery has always been used by punk culture. Siouxsie Sioux once got in a fight for wearing a Nazi armband in 1977, even though she said afterwards that she wore it for shock value – not for beliefs – especially since the Nazis hated anyone who, like her, was different. So what these shirts REALLY are is Wal-Mart’s sad, sad attempts at 1970s-style, Sex Pistols type shockery. Unfortunately, the punk-rock shock effects are tired from thirty years of overuse, and this T-shirt is nothing more than the same watered-down, regurgitated shock-rock crap that Marilyn Manson also uses (he also uses a lot of Nazi imagery just because it’s the worst thing he can come up with). So Wal-Mart isn’t using this image out of Nazi sympathy, or neo-Nazi appeal, but because they’re trying to compete with Hot Topic – and because Nazi imagery now has motorcycle, shock-rock and punk associations in pop culture.

    IMHO, this isn’t worth the fuss it’s about – we should be focusing on hating Wal Mart for reducing people to poverty and desperation around the world. Fighting them for one stupid T-shirt designed by one guy who no doubt thought he was a total rebel is a waste of energy to me.

  54. foobar1 says:

    The Totenkopf was originally used by Frederick the Great in Prussia. Just like the Swastika, it was recycled by the Nazi party and perverted into something else. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totenkopf

    Please try to check your facts before your knee jerks.

  55. googleinternetmachine says:

    @danjonwig: before your next post, make sure to read all the comments, not just the first few.
    the OP clearly states later that she did not flirt with the guy, but pulled some “im in a hurry scan this shirt twice instead of……”

    you know what, just go read it…….

  56. JimmyJunkster says:

    foobar1 wrote:
    “The Totenkopf was originally used by Frederick the Great in Prussia. Just like the Swastika, it was recycled by the Nazi party and perverted into something else. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totenkopf

    Please try to check your facts before your knee jerks.”

    Yes, old Freddy may well have used a Totenkopf insignia but not the specific design in question, ie. the skull on the t-shirt.

    The wiki page cited includes a link to the relevant info at this url:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Division_Totenkopf

    Please double-check your facts before your knee jerks.

  57. quantum-shaman says:

    What an incredible non-issue. Can’t you find something more substantial to get your shorts in a wad about? I mean WTF. Crusade against Wal-Mart until you’re blue in the face, but I doubt even the removal of this ugly-assed shirt from their shelves will in ANY way actually reduce the local population of skinheads. I’ll bet 99% of Wal-Mart shoppers don’t even recognize the design as “Nazi”… they’re just quasi-goth wannabe pirates or something, out to snag a deal on a five gallon tub of cheese balls and eight liters of Pepsi. Get a life!