The Primark discount clothing chain was forced to stop selling “sexy” padded bikini tops for young girls today following an outcry from parents’ groups.
The company said it would withdraw the £4 bikini sets “with immediate effect” and give any profits it had already made from them to a children’s charity.
The move comes two months after Conservative leader David Cameron called for an end to the “inappropriate sexualisation” of children by high street retailers.
Primark had been facing calls for a boycott over the swimsuits which were aimed at girls as young as seven.
Jenny Stallard, deputy editor of Practical Parenting And Pregnancy magazine, said: “A padded bikini for seven year-olds is too much at too young an age. No wonder girls are confused about their bodies and self-image.”
Mother-of-three Siobhan Stallard, the founder of Netmums website, said the “horrid” tops were “wrong in so many ways”. The bikinis, sold alongside other, non-padded costumes in the seven- to eight-year-old range, were made in candy pink with gold stars or black with white polka dots.
A spokesman for the chain said: “Primark has taken note of the concern regarding the sale of certain bikini tops for girls, a product line that sells in relatively small quantities. The company has stopped the sale of this product line with immediate effect.
“Primark will donate all the profits made from this product line to a children’s charity, and apologises to customers for any offence caused.”