The Cracker Barrel restaurant chain’s partial ban on Duck Dynasty products didn’t last long.
Yesterday, the chain preemptively announced that amidst the ongoing Phil Robertson controversy, it was pulling selected some Duck Dynasty-related merchandise from the shelves of its gift shops. Duck Commander products continued to be sold, however.
Phil Robertson is, of course, the family patriarch on the wildly popular A&E reality series, who made some controversial/offensive comments, including those about the gay lifestyle, in a GQ magazine interview, and was subsequently suspended from the show.
Cracker Barrel must have gotten an earful and a digital-ful from its customers across the country in the last 24 hours, because today it has walked-back the Duck Dynasty ban. Cracker Barrel operates 625 stores in the US and specializes in southern cuisine.
In a Facebook posting earlier today, Cracker Barrel apologized to its customers for even temporarily removing the Duck Dynasty products:
“When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done. You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong. We listened. Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores. And, we apologize for offending you. We respect all individuals right to express their beliefs. We certainly did not mean to have anyone think different. We sincerely hope you will continue to be part of our Cracker Barrel family.”
Regardless of your feelings about his remarks, Phil Robertson perhaps might have avoided the uproar at least to some degree had he not mentioned specific body parts in the interview.
— Cracker Barrel (@CrackerBarrel) December 22, 2013
Are you surprised that Cracker Barrel did an about-face so fast? Forbes.com quipped that “I think we can safely call Cracker Barrel’s response to the Phil Robertson scandal a clusterduck.”
[Image credit: Ildar Sagdejev]