By Malissa Rogers
Macy’s, the second-largest department-chain in the United States, has recently come under fire for selling the Donald Trump brand at their stores. However, the company has decided to continue their relationship with the controversial businessman.
“Macy’s marketing and merchandising offerings are not representative of any political position. Ours is a free society compromised of a wide range of viewpoints,” Macy’s President and CEO Terry Lundgren wrote in an email.
The department store is currently under pressure from their customers, who have urged the retailer to “Dump Trump.” The controversy has stemmed from Trump’s recent attacks on President Obama and his idea that global warming is a part of a Chinese conspiracy to destroy American capitalism.
A “Dump Trump” petition has been created by Angelo Carusone on SignOn.org, with more than 670,000 signatures being gathered, in an attempt to prove to Macy’s that customers will not support the retailer if they do not “Dump Trump.” In November, more than 50 people stood outside of Macy’s flagship store in New York and cut up their Macy’s credit cards in protest of the retailer’s decision to continue their relationship with the mogul.
Jenny Izenstark, a once dedicated Macy’s customer, joined the protestors in New York. “I stood in this same spot last year watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” she recalled. “But I won’t be there this Thursday. I can no longer support a brand that gives a platform to such a bigot.”
Macy’s loyalty rating amongst female consumers in November topped 31 percent, but in one month the rating has plummeted to a mere 17 percent according to figures released by YouGov BrandIndex. The loyalty rating is based on if that customer would recommend the store to friends and family. Based on the numbers many customers have opted out of shopping there.
Macy’s Facebook page is inundated with “Dump Trump” remarks, but there are also many customers who have vowed to continue their support of the retail chain. Regardless of customer’s opinions, Donna Sturgess, a founding partner of Buyology Inc., a New York-based advertising firm (that does not work with Macy’s), said that she believes the retailer will probably not sever ties with Trump until after the holidays.
“Macy’s has a significant amount of Trump-branded merchandise on its shelves right now,” Sturgess said according to the Huffington Post. “So it’s highly unlikely that they’ll end the partnership and eat the cost of that merchandise before the busy holiday season.”