Consumers are appealing to Nike and Amazon to follow in Macy’s footsteps and cut ties with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has garnered headlines with comments widely seen as racist and misogynist and inciting violent behavior among his supporters.
Through a petition from women’s activist organization UltraViolet Action, more than 13,000 Amazon customers including some 5,000 Prime members have signed a letter to CEO-founder Jeff Bezos calling for Amazon to stop selling Trump’s menswear and "stop profiting off of his brand of hate.”
And the Courage Campaign also launched a petition in March, which has garnered some 34,000 signatures so far, calling on Nike not to renew its Trump Tower lease in New York for its flagship Niketown store, implying that the sportswear retailer’s failure to condemn Trump for his remarks about women is related to that lease.
Last July Macy’s said it would discontinue Trump's line of menswear and scents, which the department store has sold since 2004.
Celebrity-branded merchandise has a built-in marketing advantage because a high-profile name and image are transferred to the goods. But that only works as long as the celebrity maintains a well-known and positive image — it can all fall apart if the celebrity acquires a reputation that would be detrimental to the retailer's brand. And most retailers want to stay as politically neutral as possible in order to appeal to the largest number of shoppers.
Enter Donald Trump, who, even before his entry into the race for president, lent his aura of financial success to his business attire. His remarks and his supporters' behavior, however, have caused a severe public backlash, and he is now being abandoned by television networks and production companies, other celebrities, and many entities, including Macy’s, tied to him through commerce.
"We welcome all customers, and respect for the dignity of all people is a cornerstone of our culture," Macy’s said in a statement announcing the termination of Trump merchandise in its stores. "We are disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico ... In light of statements made by Donald Trump, we have decided to discontinue our business relationship."
That list may continue to grow, if these advocacy groups have their way.
“Last year, Macy's stopped selling Donald Trump's menswear line in response to his comments calling Mexicans 'rapists,'" reads UltraViolet’s letter to Bezos. "It's long past time for Amazon to follow Macy's lead, sever its ties with Trump, and stop profiting off of his brand of hate.”