Major online retailer JC Penney caugt the tea industry by surprise this week with its ‘Hitler’ Tea Kettle. See the tea kettle in the below image:
Major news sites like Marshable.com, Theatlantic.com as well as Time.com reported this news about 2 days ago. JC Penney made it clear on Tuesday that this was completely unintentional. This is what JC Penney tweeted about the ‘Hitler’ tea kettle:
“If we had designed it to look like something, we would have gone with a snowman or something fun”
One day later this tea kettle was completely sold out. Mainly smart business people have bought large quantities of this ‘Hitler’ tea kettle selling now for up to 200 USD per tea kettle. Given a 40 USD retail price, they are making 80% margin on this trade.
There are some people in the industry who think JC Penney made this intentional move to boost its visibility. This is a very plausible scenario. Thought it has fully sold out it’s controversial tea kettle, this type of promotion will definitely hurt JC Penney’s long term sales and reputation. Not a smart move, we would say, if it was intentional. Even worse, if it was unintentional 😉