If you’re a regular Home Depot customer, you’ll definitely want to know about this before you shop there again: The hardware company is in some seriously hot water thanks to the fact that it was just caught selling milk to one customer.
Yeah, this isn’t good.
According to a leak from an internal whistleblower, the company placed a gallon of milk inside a cardboard box, put a barcode on the milk that would make it come up as “WHITE HAMMER” on a customer’s receipt, and put the box containing the milk toward the back of a hammer display at a Bridgewater, NJ location.
Yikes. How did they think they were going to get away with this?
If that doesn’t sound bad enough, these leaked emails between CEO Craig Menear and Executive Vice President of Merchandising Ted Decker reveal that the decision to sell milk came right from the top:
As you might expect, Home Depot has been in complete crisis mode since the story broke this morning. The company’s CFO and head of PR have both resigned, and the board of directors had little choice but to immediately come out strongly against the choice to sell one gallon of milk.
“I deeply regret our recent decision to sell milk to one customer, and I take full responsibility for my role in the incident,” said Menear in a statement to the press. “Rest assured, Home Depot is committed to making sure something like this never happens again, and we will continue to focus on what we know best: home improvement.”
The company’s apology begs the question: Is Home Depot genuinely sorry for trying to sell milk to one customer, or are they just sorry they got caught? It’s something customers will now have to ask themselves—and Home Depot might not like the answer.
So, yeah. This is really bad news for the nation’s largest home improvement retailer, and it will certainly be a story to watch in the coming weeks.