US retail giant Walmart has been forced to pull a "Naughty Leopard" Halloween costume from its stores following a flood of complaints that accused the outfit of sexualising young girls.
On Wednesday, British retailers Asda and Tesco did likewise after protests from mental health charities over a "Mental Patient" costume that featured a blood-stained shirt and machete, and a "Psycho Ward" costume, including an orange boiler suit designed to look like the garb of a killer.
First spotted by the Consumerist website, the Walmart dress, which costs around $20, boasts a black, lacy dress and headband with cat ears. It says it is sized for 2-year-olds. When asked about the costume by KATU, mother Katie said: "I don't know, it's a little bit.. it's excessive". Ryan Catani took to Twitter to call the outfit a "new low" for Walmart.
Walmart hits a new low with its "naughty leopard" costume for toddlers http://t.co/j6OzYFDhYb— Ryan Catalani (@magicofpi) September 25, 2013
A spokesperson for the retailer confirmed on Wednesday that the costume was to be discontinued from the stores. "It was never our intention to offend anyone and we apologise to any customers who may have been offended by the name of the costume," Danit Marquardt told KATU.com. The outfit remains on sale online however the name has been changed to "Leopard Child Halloween Costume".