Topshop removed an in-store pop-up in London used to promote feminism with publisher Penguin after 20 minutes.
The fashion retailer had agreed to host the pop-up with Penguin, to help launch the book Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies) with products for sale supporting the UN charity Girl Up.
Penguin said its team was “raring to go” but “just 20 minutes later it had been dismantled by Topshop”.
Topshop said its decision was from “a production and creative standpoint”.
The book, which brings together ideas on feminism from 50 women, was compiled by author Scarlett Curtis, daughter of director Richard Curtis.
Planning for the pop-up to coincide with the launch took “months”, Ms Curtis said.
In the planning stages, she said, there was no indication that executives on either side were unhappy with the partnership.
After hearing that the promotional space had been torn down, Ms Curtis said it was “heartbreaking and shocking”.
Despite making the decision to dismantle the pop-up, a spokesperson for the high street retailer apologised and said it would make a £25,000 donation to the Girl Up charity.
“We are sorry – this in no way reflects our stance on feminism. We continue to fully support the sentiment of the book, Scarlett Curtis, feminism and equality.”
Naomi Colthurst, a commissioning editor at Penguin, tweeted the decision by Topshop was “proof, if proof were needed, about how much work is still needed to make feminism accessible for everyone”.
Topshop, owned by Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group, has been criticised on Twitter for the U-turn.
The publishing house said it was looking for alternative venues to host the pop-up.