Target Responds to Plus-Size ‘Manatee Grey’ Dress Fiasco

A Target shopper recently noticed that the color of a grey plus-size dress was listed on the store’s website as “Manatee Grey” (and the image of a manatee may not be the most flattering one to conjure up when trying to sell clothing). To be fair, manatees are, in fact, grey — so while this incident certainly doesn’t demonstrate marketing genius, it’s not necessarily a major issue. The thing is, said shopper also noticed that same dress in regular sizes was listed as “Dark Heather Grey.” Aaaaand now we’ve got a problem.

Would-be Target customer Susan Clemens voiced her disgust on Twitter:

To Target’s credit, the retailer’s response was swift and appropriate:

Currently, the “Manatee Grey” version of the Mossimo Women’s Plus-Size Kimono Maxi Dress no longer appears on

In addition to addressing the problem in a sympathetic and timely fashion, Target spokesman Joshua Thomas gave a simple and clear explanation of the mix up to Forbes, saying: “Manatee Grey” is a standard color name used across Target products, plus-size and otherwise. Unfortunately there were two teams of buyers responsible for the two dresses, meaning they each chose different color names without consulting with one another.” Seems reasonable enough to us.

Still, as adorable, rare, and gentle as Manatees are, and though they were once mistaken for mermaids (by what we assume were very, very drunken sailors), we think Target may want to consider making “Heather Grey” its new “standard color name.”

And here’s a manatee being adorable:

Publish date: April 5, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT