'What were you thinking': Smith and Caughey's apologises for selling Salasai 'Lynch Mob' coat

Popular Auckland department store Smith and Caughey's has come under fire for selling a coat named the 'Lynch Mob Coat'.

A Twitter user posted an image of the coat for sale on the store's website on Tuesday, with a red ring around the name.

"Hey @SmithandCaughey genuine question - WTF WERE YOU THINKING," the tweet read.

Many others used the social media platform to criticise both Smith and Caughey's and Salasai, the New Zealand brand that designed and named the coat.

Salasai has it listed on its site as "a classic grandpa shaped coat for woman".  It chose a dark-skinned woman to model the garment.

'What were you thinking': Smith and Caughey's apologises for selling Salasai 'Lynch Mob' coat

Lynchings are public executions intended to punish and terrorise a group. Between 1882 and 1968 there were nearly 5000 reported lynchings in the US, the vast majority of which were African-Americans.

After firstly renaming the coat to 'Check Wool Coat' on Tuesday afternoon, Smith and Caughey's has now removed the coat completely from its site.

'What were you thinking': Smith and Caughey's apologises for selling Salasai 'Lynch Mob' coat

Spokesperson Kevin Broadfoot says the name was totally "inappropriate", and says it shouldn't have been on the site in the first place.

Broadfoot says Smith and Caughey's listed the coat under the name it was provided by the designer, and didn't pick up on it at the time.

"We fully agree it's inappropriate and we'll be much more vigilant with the names that come through from designers in future," he told Newshub.

Salasai has not responded to Newshub's request for comment.

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