Footwear retailer Clarks was swamped in controversy over the weekend as MPs and industry leaders branded a range of children’s shoes “sexist and insulting”.
The sexism row started over a range of girl’s school shoes which it named Dolly Babe, while the boys counterpart was called Leader.
Clarks was quick to apologise for any offence it may have caused, after angry Twitter users including Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon challenged the retailer online.
“It is almost beyond belief that in 2017 a major company could think this is in any way acceptable. Shows what we are still up against,” Sturgeon tweeted.
— Brian Smith (@TheRealBrianSmi) August 13, 2017
Clarks have named range of girls' school shoes "Dolly Babe" while the boys' equivalent is called "Leader." Out of touch, sexist & insulting. https://t.co/oAKkRzroQ6
— Laura Waddell (@lauraewaddell) August 13, 2017
The footwear retailer has subsequently pulled the Dolly Babe range, which features a pink heart printed pattern.
Meanwhile, the Leader range remains on sale, but Clarks said it was working to remove the name from remaining store stock and said the range was “an old and discontinued line, with only remaining stock being sold through our stores”.
It added: “We are working hard to ensure our ranges reflect our gender neutral ethos and we apologise for any unintended offence caused.”