As companies go global it is important they remember the
culture and language of the new territory they are expanding
into. Even a small mistake can have long lasting negative

During a vendor meeting in San Juan,
Kmart’s vendor
development department was brainstorming ways to
improve the supply chain in their Puerto Rican stores.

A new store had just opened near Ponce which, during the
construction phase, had been delivered the traditional
“Garden Shop” sign for the side of the building. The sign
was in English and the local population was 90% Spanish

In pointing out the faux pas, the vendor said, “It said Garden
Shop in English which translated into the Spanish words,
‘your kind not welcome here’.”

Kmart changed the sign shortly after the store opened but
damage had been done.

Related topics
The garden shop
As Aesop established hundreds of years ago with his
timeless fables we remember words best when we
become engaged in a story. Max has compiled an
anecdotal story collection designed to generate “ah-
ha” moments.
Click here to see more.

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