Celebrated since the 19th century, April Fools’ Day has come a long way, particularly in retail where businesses tend to “fool” their customers for a laugh.
The Retail Gazette takes a detailed look into retailers’ pranks this year.
Hotel Chocolat: Roast beef hot chocolate
Hotel Chocolat’s established restaurant in London Bridge, Rabot 1745, already sells lamb chops with mint chocolate sauce so when subscribers received this email in their inbox, they may have certainly been fooled.
Lego: Find My Brick
Lego has experimented with augmented reality in the past so it’s no stranger to it, although customers may have been disappointed when they found out such a useful tool proved to be a prank.
Had Find My Brick existed, it would help users discover specific colours in a pile of Lego bricks. The user would simply point their smartphone at the pile and discover a certain colour and shape.
This is one app Lego fans wish were real.
Sainsbury’s: Trolley Trainer
Sainsbury’s sent out a tweet to announce they’ll be launching a trainer trolley to help customers get their work out on while shopping.
The trolley resembles the technicalities of a treadmill, including resistance levels as well as a water bottle holder.
While they never explicitly branded the tweet as an April Fools prank, the trolley concept certainly takes experiential retail to another level.
Sainsbury’s: Pink avocados
The supermarket also said it is launching the UK’s first ever pink avocados.
It said it has worked closely with growers in Peru to bring the Rosa-vo to the UK which is aimed to “guac your world”.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We felt it was about time the humble avo-toast was given a bit of a refresh and social-specific makeover.
“The crop is foolishly delicious and we can’t wait to see how our customers react this April.”
Spoke: Brexit survival cargos
Online menswear retailer Spoke escalated the common Brexit theme of April Fools jokes today by revealing that they’ll be selling survival cargos which can help customers “march fearlessly into an uncertain future”.
The cargos feature “deep & special pockets, water-repellent nanotech (for grocery trips to Calais), and even a padded crotch – ideal for those who like to over-promise (and under-deliver).
Boden: Brexit Breton top ban
Fashion retailer Boden reported today that Breton shirts were the latest casualty of EU upheavals.
The retailer said it was no longer permitted to continue producing the French-inspired shirts in the UK.
Breton top owners will now need to apply for a special EU shirt license to wear one or face a €1000 fine.
They even posted a video about it on social media:
BREAKING NEWS: The latest casualty of the upheavals in Europe? Our beloved Bretons. Watch the video to find out what to do if you own a (now illegal) Breton. pic.twitter.com/8YxM0G1wGX
— Boden (@Bodenclothing) April 1, 2019
Benson for Beds: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry visit
The mattress retailer reported today that there have been arrangements for the pregnant Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle to give birth at Croydon University Hospital, rather than Paddington’s Lindo Wing, and said she and her husband Harry are shopping for baby mattresses at the Tottenham Court Road branch.
My London reported that the Royal couple were “blown away” by the hospital’s facilities.
Cath Kidston: Chip wrap paper
Cath Kidston is known for its enthusiasm to collaborate, but just today it revealed it will launch a new partnership with fish and chip shops to show off its famous printed wrapping paper.
It told its customers to look out for limited edition Cath Kidston printed chip wrap paper at their local chippy.
River Island’s jumper for all the family
The jumper is literally a one size fits all, and is reportedly available in a range of sizes to ensure that all your family can get involved.
“A family who twins together, stays together right?” the fashion retailer stated on its website.
Primark’s sock vending machines
The vending machines are reportedly the retailer’s latest innovation to help customers who only came into shop for socks find a more convenient and quicker way of buying these essentials.
Joules’ Pawfection collection
Joules announced via e-mail and on Facebook that it was “bringing the twinning trend to man’s best friend” with a new knitwear collection that would allow customers to personalise their knitwear with the face of their pooch, and vice versa.
Amazon’s Audible for Fish
The retailer, which only recently established itself properly Down Under, has launched Audible for Fish for Aussie consumers: a three-second audiobook designed to keep underwater friends company while their owners aren’t around.
Amazon says research has shown that marine life is stimulated by short bursts of audio.
Did we miss any April Fools’ pranks from retailers? Tell us in the comments