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“So desperate for royal endorsement”: Prince Harry TK Maxx controversy explained as retail store is exposed for lying 

Prince Harry shared his fondness of shopping from TK Maxx in his memoir (Image via Getty Images)
Prince Harry shared his fondness of shopping from TK Maxx in his memoir (Image via Getty Images)

Prince Harry shared his fondness for shopping at TK Maxx (known as TJ Maxx in the U.S.) in an excerpt from his newly released memoir, Spare. The Duke of Sussex recalled that he received an allowance from his father for formal clothing and went to the discount store for casual clothes:

“Each year I received from Pa an official clothing allowance, but that was strictly for formal wear. Suits and ties, ceremonial outfits. For my everyday casual clothes I’d go to TK Maxx, the discount store.”
@PaganTrelawney There’s a proof👇this was Daily Mirror in 2013. https://t.co/uP7qsQn18z

The Prince shared that he was specifically a fan of TK Maxx’s “once-a-year-sale” when the retail store sold outfits from Gap and J Crew that were slightly damaged or left out of season.

“I was particularly fond of their once-a-year sale, when they’d be flush with items from Gap or J Crew, items that had just gone out of season or were slightly damaged.”

As the passage from The Prince’s book went viral online, a spokesperson for TK Maxx told Express that contrary to the former’s claims the retailer does not engage in annual sales:

“Whilst we’re delighted Prince Harry is a big fan, we thought we should explain we don’t actually do sales. Instead, we offer great value, style, and savings all year round.”

However, netizens were quick to point out that TK Maxx’s statement was seemingly untrue, as the company posted about “clearance sales” in January itself:

I can’t believe I’m even debunking this crap…🙄 https://t.co/NjAOfbX7xB

Some social media users have also accused the retail store of lying and being “desperate for royal endorsement”:

@TKMaxx_UK Shameful that TK Maxx so desperate for Royal endorsement. Why stupidly lie?Next. Fwiw. TK Maxx btw is complicit in modern day slavery. Because garment workers of Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia etc paid peanuts - so big fashion brands later dump stock into your stores. For ££ 🤮 https://t.co/e4xKiKLNNI

Author of Finding Freedom and Prince Harry's biographer, Omid Scobie, also took to Twitter to defend the royal while taking a jab at TK Maxx by sharing photos of the brand’s previous seasonal reduction in stock clearance.


Prince Harry shares his TK Maxx shopping experience

Speaking about his fashion and style in his memoir Spare, Prince Harry recalled his experiences of shopping at a TK Maxx discount store. He recalled buying casual outfits from the store’s “once-a-year sale” and shared the benefits of shopping from the retail store:

“If you timed it just right, got there on the first day of the sale, you could snag the same clothes that others were paying top price for down the street! With two hundred quid you could look like a fashion plate.”
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The royal then went on to share his own “system” of grabbing the best deals while shopping at TK Maxx and said:

“Grab a red bucket. Hurry to the top floor. Begin systematically working one rack and down another. If I found something promising I’d hold it up to my chest or legs, standing in front of a mirror.”

He also mentioned that he did not “dawdle” while deciding the “color” or “style” of clothing and never even tried the outfit before finalizing his purchase:

“If I was on the fence about it, I’d ask Billy the Rock. He delighted in moonlighting as my stylist.”

The Prince recalled that he was left delighted by the end of his TK Maxx shopping spree and relaxed, knowing he did not have to worry about buying new clothes for “another six months”:

“At closing time we’d run out with giant shopping bags, feeling triumphant. Now the papers wouldn’t call me a slob. At least for a little while. Far better, I wouldn’t have to think about clothes again for another six months.”
@scobie @SneezeCocoa @TKMaxx_UK They did a tweet about Prince Harry in 2013. https://t.co/xPj6uhhVjS

In response to the Duke’s excerpt, TK Maxx denied having any sales and claimed to sell clothing all around the year, only to be called out by social media users over the false statement.

Back in 2013, the brand took to Twitter to mention Prince Harry after the royal was spotted shopping at the department store.


Netizens call out TK Maxx over Prince Harry situation

Social media users called out TK Maxx over the brand's response to Prince Harry (Image via Getty Images)
Social media users called out TK Maxx over the brand's response to Prince Harry (Image via Getty Images)

Prince Harry recently shared his love for buying clothes during TK Maxx’s “once-a-year-sale” at a discounted rate. While he recalled his shopping experiences, the brand denied the former’s claims and said they never organized any clearance sales.

Social media users were quick to call out TK Maxx over its statement and exposed that the brand lied about not having sales by sharing their past social media posts promoting seasonal or monthly sales:

So the latest attack on Prince Harry is that his book claim about liking the sales at TK Maxx is a ‘lie’ because apparently they ‘don’t do sales.’ Really? https://t.co/z3gu0A3BE2
Poor @TKMaxx_UK I mean, they're getting a lot of attention, which is good for any shop. But, seriously, why deny things they know are true? Idiots. We all know they have sales & they tweeted themselves that #PrinceHarry shopped there. You can't make this stuff up #Spare #TKMaxx https://t.co/0WAuyPOO1j
I am no marketing or comms expert but I don't get why brands like TK Maxx UK or Air New Zealand would want to respond to Prince Harry's memoir. I know some of y'all believe any publicity is good publicity but it ain't. #PrinceHarry #SparebyPrinceHarry
.@tjmaxx ur store @TKMaxx_UK out her lying abt Prince Harry #Spare Newspapers call it "sale" tkUK twitter says "sale" but when Prince Harry says "sale" suddenly you dont do sales? It looks shady af when u realize TKUK is partnered with King Charles charity#TkMaxxlies https://t.co/EFMtlmKkuF
Some people hate Prince Harry so much that if TK Maxx said the moon was made of cheese they'd agree it was 🙄
@TKMaxx_UK More receipts that y'all have sales in the UK, just like you do in the US. Btw, TK Maxx is part of a chain based in the US, and we LOVE Prince Harry over here. So I doubt Corporate will be thrilled to see y'all lying like this.https://t.co/yQd9gAowDP
So @TKMaxx_UK lied. #PrinceHarry did shop there. They do have clearances/ sales.Not just weird of TK Maxx, shows how awful this vendetta against Harry by the media is. We will not be shopping in TK Maxx again. Actually disgusted. twitter.com/tkmaxx_uk/stat…
Whoever it is at TK Maxx that refuted Prince Harry's claims must be the same one in charge of organising their stuff in store. No sense, just vibes
The TK Maxx thing might seem trivial or a distraction, but it's really not. It's just one more thing that shows what Prince Harry and Meghan have been highlighting all along. It's also exposing to the whole world, what a rotten place the UK media landscape is.#Spare

As reactions continue to pour in online, it remains to be seen if TK Maxx or Prince Harry will address the situation further in the days to come.

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Edited by Barsha Roy
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