Cracker Barrel right to listen to its customers

Call it a knee-jerk reaction or a mindful evaluation of the situation, but Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. pulled some Duck Dynasty merchandise from its stores’ shelves Friday amid controversy created by the popular show’s patriarch Phil Robertson and his comments to GQ magazine.
Dec 26, 2013

Call it a knee-jerk reaction or a mindful evaluation of the situation, but Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. pulled some Duck Dynasty merchandise from its stores’ shelves Friday amid controversy created by the popular show’s patriarch Phil Robertson and his comments to GQ magazine. 

About 48 hours later, Cracker Barrel executives made the decision to bring those same Duck Dynasty products back for sale amid public outcry. 

And it was the right thing to do. 

On Friday, Cracker Barrel said it pulled some Duck Dynasty merchandise from its stores over concerns it might offend guests. 

“Cracker Barrel’s mission is Pleasing People,” the company said on its Facebook page Friday. “We operate within the ideals of fairness, mutual respect and equal treatment of all people. These ideals are the core of our corporate culture. We continue to offer Duck Commander products in our stores. We removed selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests while we evaluate the situation. We continually evaluate the products we offer and will continue to do so.”

On Sunday morning, however, Cracker Barrel recanted its plans, and “Duck Dynasty” products returned to its shelves. 

“We made a mistake, we listened to you, and we apologize. #DuckDynasty products are back in our stores,” Cracker Barrel tweeted with a link to its Facebook page.

It was retweeted 2,448 times as of Sunday evening.  

“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,” Cracker Barrel said on its Facebook page Sunday. “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.”

It’s important to note Cracker Barrel didn’t pull the items off its shelves for any personal reasons. Rather, it was what the Lebanon-based company considered would be the consensus of its customers. 

When Cracker Barrel learned otherwise, the right decision was made to return those products for sale. 

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