Target Dress Apology: Store Labels Plus-Size Dress 'Manatee,' Customer Susan Clemens Calls Apology 'Unnecessary'

Target 'Manatee Gray' Dress
A customer posted a picture of two identical clothing items Tuesday; one was labeled "manatee gray," and the other, "dark heather gray." Twitter

One customer’s online shopping trip turned into a nightmare for Target after an Orange County, Calif., shopper discovered the retail store had labeled a plus-size clothing item “manatee gray,” offering an identical item in a smaller size and calling it “dark heather gray.”

Susan Clemens, 49, tweeted a screenshot of her findings from the store’s website Tuesday, claiming it was a friend who first uncovered the now-controversial “manatee” name.

“What the. Plus sizes women get “Manatee Grey” while standard sizes are “Dark Heather Grey @Target #notbuyingit [sic]” said Clemens.

Target spokesman Joshua Thomas apologized on behalf of the company to Forbes Wednesday, calling the incident an “oversight” and claiming there are other products in all sizes labeled “manatee gray.”

“We apologize for any discomfort this might have caused, and we are working to update the name of the dress to reflect 'heather dark gray.' This was an unfortunate oversight, and we’ll take it into consideration moving forward," he said.

Clemens said on her Twitter page that, despite reports that she was outraged, she was merely just asking the corporation a question. Clemens called the apology understandable, giving Target an “A+” for its speedy response.

“Would be great if the media (and the provoked), before re-reporting a story, would read a feed to see there’s no real outraged expressed,” she said. “[Target] handled it very well. I’m still a big fan.”

Clemens commented that she isn’t surprised her comments were so popular.

"This whole '‪manatee'‬ thing touched cultural pain points. It's not about ‪Target‬; it's about how people feel about how they're discussed," she said. "In a culture where women's bodies are commented on endlessly, this struck a nerve with a lot of people."

Share this article

More News from IBT MEDIA