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Offensive Retail Stores

The Hitler Clothing Outlet Opens in India

— September 3, 2012 — Business
A man in India recently opened the Hitler clothing outlet, which apparently is generating a bit of business.

The more important question should be why this man does not know Hitler, or his historical significance. Although the man claims he did not know Hitler slaughtered six million people, how then can he explain the swastika symbol prominently displayed on his storefront sign? Regardless of the owner not knowing this dictator, he certainly has done a great job generating buzz about the store's opening. Turns out lack of information has worked in this business man's favor when it comes to branding.

Hitler has become increasingly popular in India, and the German dictator’s manifest and memoir sold thousands of copies upon its release in India. There was even a cafe named after him in 2006.
Trend Themes
1. Historical Figures Used in Marketing - There is an opportunity to capitalize on the popularity of historical figures in marketing, although it must be done in a respectful and appropriate manner.
2. Controversial Retail Stores - Controversy can generate buzz and attract attention to a new retail store, although it must be carefully managed to avoid negative consequences.
3. Impact of Lack of Historical Knowledge - This example underscores the importance of historical education and the impact of lack of knowledge in business decisions.
Industry Implications
1. Fashion Retail - Fashion retailers can explore the use of historical figures, but need to ensure that they do not offend their target market.
2. Cafe and Restaurant - Cafes and restaurants can use historical figures as themes for their establishments as long as it is done in a respectful manner and is culturally appropriate.
3. Education - This event highlights the need for continued education on historical events and figures in order to avoid inappropriate business decisions.
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