Joy has angered some customers with a “sexist” email about what to wear when meeting your partner’s parents on Christmas day.
“Show your boyfriend’s mum you’re the girl to take care of her little prince in beautiful dresses that screams marriage material,” the email read.
“Knee length skirts exude class while respectable necklines mean father-in-law won’t have a heart attack when you lean across the table for a second helping of roast potatoes.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the email did not get a positive response, with customers calling it “offensive” “outdated” and “disgusting”.
“If I’d wanted something to look after I would have bought a puppy. As it stands my girlfriend looks after herself pretty well, because she’s a grown woman who is in a relationship for a partnership,” wrote Lianne Hare on Joy’s Facebook page.
“Try to refrain from blasting out your 1950s heteronormative advertising for 2017. You might win a few more customers.
“Also, if anyone’s partner’s dad is ogling their boobs over dinner, punch him square in the nose and take that meal to go.”
A Joy spokesperson told the Huffington Post UK the email was intended to be “satire”.
“Our ‘Meet the Parents’ satire stemmed from a real-life occurrence in one of our stores which a panicked young woman came to us one afternoon stating she ‘had nothing to wear for her “meet the parents” dinner’,” they explained.
“At the time we found the anecdote to be endearing, as we have all found ourselves to be in the nerve-wracking situation of meeting our significant others family and loved ones.
“We wanted to share this with our other customers who may be coming up to the same dilemma, especially in the festive season.
“Over the years, our tone has often been tongue in cheek, much to the entertainment of many of our customers. However, we understand that we missed the mark with our terminology and apologise deeply to all our customers that feel offended as this was not our intent.
“We would like to reiterate the fact that this was not intended to cause any offence and we are incredibly saddened by upsetting our incredibly appreciated customers.”