Singapore’s oldest supermarket chain Cold Storage, which used a price promotion on beef at one of its outlets during Diwali, today apologised for the advertisement which was “insensitive” to Hindus. A photo of the promotion, which advertised a 38 per cent discount for certain beef products, was uploaded by a Twitter user @AdamFlinter on Monday. “Cold Storage’s #deepavali promotion was on beef!!! Cultural understanding eh?” he wrote, adding that the photo was from a friend. Deepavali or Diwali was celebrated in Singapore on Saturday, October 29, with a public holiday. Hindus in Singapore celebrate Diwali in a grand style with banners and buntings displayed across Little India – a precinct of Indian businesses, eateries, motels and hotels.
In a statement to The Straits Times today, Cold Storage explained that the promotion was put up at one store by a junior team member who had “overlooked the cultural sensitivity”. It added: “We have since explained and coached him on the cultural sensitivity and he assured us that he had no intention to disrespect the Hindus. We also took this opportunity immediately to coach all our team members to be mindful of cultural sensitivities in Singapore.”
“We sincerely apologise to all Hindus who are celebrating Deepavali on this matter,” said Cold Storage, which has more
than 100 years of history in Singapore with stores in Malaysia and Indonesia.