(Screen shot from Target website)

Target snafu over “urine” sandals ad

Nowadays if you want to sell clothes and shoes, speaking different languages can help.  Or at least it would have helped Target’s marketing team to know that several types of brown sandals  selling with the name “Orina” for the chain store actually means “urine” in Spanish.

“At my Target, at least, we have been asked to remove all signs with this shoe’s name as well as cover the name on both the box and the shoe tag,” the worker told the Consumerist website. “Seeing as there are so many Spanish-speaking people who shop and work at Target in various areas of the country, I can’t see how this got past whatever process Target uses to ensure that inappropriate names for shoes don’t reach the shelves,” said worker, who has been asked to pull any signs with the brown sandals’ name from the  boxes on the shelves.

Target spokesperson Jessica Deede confirmed the store is taking steps to remedy the situation. “Last week, we started removing that section of the name from in-store signage and from our website,” she added, but could not say how many stores were involved or who had named the line of shoes “Orina.” The shoes have been available since February in all Target stores and on Target.com.

This latest incident comes a week after Target got in trouble with consumers for selling plus-size dresses in a color called “manatee gray,” a color that was not offered in regular sizes. But to be fair, Target is not the only store that uses the name “Orina.”  Stores like Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Nordstrom and even Dillard’s sell products with the name.  If you look up the definition of Orina, besides the Spanish translation to urine, it is a girl’s name, a variant of Irene in Greek, and the meaning of Orina is “peace.”  But for the more than 35 million Spanish-speaking Hispanics in the U.S., “Orina” will not be synonymous with Irene any time soon.

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