Cocaine snorting reindeer

"It's a shoe store, not a drug store."

But the window display, would suggest differently.

Steven Johns Shoes, had a front window display of a gold reindeer beside a table with what looked like a line of cocaine and a rolled up dollar bill sitting on top of it.

The reindeer was beside a Christmas tree donned with "little baggies" filled with a cocaine like substance (Ajax) and measuring utensils.

The display went up on Sunday, and store employee Mary-Anne Litzenberger says the phone has been ringing off the hook with complaints.

"This was not my motivation, it was the owner's. He wanted to shock (people) and that is exactly what he did."

Steven Johns, set up the display and took off for Mexico leaving Lizenberger to deal with the brunt of his actions.

"I think he wanted people to recognize him, he wanted the attention and he got it. But not in a positive way."

Litzenberger says, Steven Johns does not promote drugs and neither does she, however the window display has had people questioning why Johns would do such a thing if he is against drug use.

"One woman called and said she would never shop here because, who puts bags on a Christmas tree, do they think it's funny."

The phone rings constantly with complaints, people line up outside to take pictures and even Twitter was a buzz with Johns' actions.

Steven Johns shoes is new to the city, with two other locations in Ladysmith and Victoria, but the Kelowna location is the only location with this type of display, says Lizenberger.

"I told Steven it would kill his business, but he said what business? It has been really slow, so I guess we kicked it up a notch."

There has been some positive response about the display, Lizenberger says younger adults have been coming in to check out shoes because they realize that it was just a joke.

Sarah Allen who was shopping in the store on Thursday, says she came inside because she was interested.

"It definitely got people talking, and I did come in to check out the shoes."

After Thursday's media attention, and a conversation regarding the display was initiated on Castanet's forum, Lizenberger made the executive decision to take it down.

"I didn't ask Steven for permission because he isn't answering his e-mails, but I didn't want to be associated with this anymore."

Johns told Lizenberger before he left not to take the display down for any reason,  and now she fears she could be reprimanded for her actions.



She did call the store manager, for all three locations, who told her to take the display down right away, making Lizenberger feel confident she had made the right decision.

Johns returns from vacation next week, he will most likely be questioned for his actions.


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