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Retailer gets 'blacklash' for preferring whites

By Kamau Muthoni | Published Sun, July 29th 2018 at 00:00, Updated July 28th 2018 at 21:17 GMT +3
Chandarana Supermarket, one of Kenya's oldest supermarket 

An email by an overzealous marketer had one of Kenya's oldest supermarket chains fighting for its survival.

It was was a sad story for Chandarana Supermarket yesterday as Kenyans on social media descended on it over its leaked email purporting to pursue a "racialized" marketing strategy.

"As we are now focusing in white people to attract our supermarkets (sic). We have already 13 branches in Nairobi,’’ the email by Chandarana's marketing specialist Rima Patel read in part. She was referring to a campaign in which the retailer would issue shopping vouchers to its customers.

Abigael Arunga on her Twitter handle asked for an apology saying the mail is promoting racism. The supermarket apologised, but it did little to cool down tempers.

“This is for free gift vouchers activities purpose only. We are gifting vouchers to Kenyan people as well as Asian too. Even in future also. But look forward white people in terms of only create international business relationship. Kindly apologize for any miscommunication (sic),” the retraction read.

Some made fun of grammatical errors in the apology which was written in what Indians call 'Hinglish' -- English influenced by Hindi.

The supermarket then sent out another apology and said Ms Patel was "a very new and recently hired in the marketing department...Her lack of proficiency in English language is an easy way to justify this horrendous error…but suffice to say it is not a reflection of what we stand for, not in any remote way."

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