Wesfarmers in hot water over bottled water advert

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 5th April 2017

Wesfarmers’ Target has received heavy criticism in the wake of Cyclone Debbie in Queensland over an in-store sign stating a slab of 24 bottles of water would cost $72.

An outpour of social media complaints was posted on the Target Australia Facebook page after a customer shared a photo of the $72 sign placed on a slab of bottled water in the Target Bowen store.

Bowen was one of the locations in the Whitsunday region of coastal Queensland most affected by the impact of Cyclone Debbie with fruit and vegetable farmers in the area suffering from millions of dollars in damages. The flooding also temporarily caused water supply outages.

Online complaints to Target about the bottled water pricing made accusation that the store was “gouging” customers impacted by the cyclone.

Target responded to the social media outrage on Tuesday 4 April 2017, posting on its Facebook page that the sign was a misunderstanding with the bottles of water meant to be sold individually at $3 per bottle, not in bulk.

“We would like to confirm that no water was sold in a pack of 24 at $72,” Target said.

“On behalf of Target and the Bowen store team, we sincerely apologise for this situation,” Target stated.


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