By Bobby M.
Lately the #GrabYourWallet boycott of all Trump products being sold by various retailers has scored a number of victories and their protest is only getting stronger. If you are unaware of the movement, it basically started out as a boycott of buying Trump related products as a way to protest his “Grab them by the p*ssy” comments. This was founded by Shannon Coulter and Sue Atencio who gave voice to the belief that it is hard for some consumers to shop in good faith at places which support Trump’s politics, while also thinking the only way to get through to the billionaire about his divisive nature, is by costing him money.
Their biggest victory came when Nordstrom announced recently that they will no longer be selling anything related to the Ivanka Trump brand. After scoring that win, the floodgates seemed to open up for other companies to do the same when it came to #GrabYourWallet. Recent retailers who have done the same (but are not limited to) are: Neiman Marcus Jewelry, K-Mart & Sears selling the Trump home line, Home Shopping Network (HSN), Shop Style (shopping search engine that had 1500+ products in mid January before slash), Tyra Beauty (associated with Trya Banks), Gilt.com, Burlington Coat Factory, Saks 5th Avenue, and Jet.com all pulling those products from their websites. Two other businesses in the Honest Company and Carnival Cruiselines have decided to not even sponsor the TV show, the Celebrity Apprentice. While Belk and TJ Maxx/Marshalls still sell various products in their brick and mortar stores, advertising at both has been scaled back majorly with Belk even deciding to remove everything from their online presence.
Due to the publicity of Nordstrom’s actions and it being a lynch pin to others doing the same, Donald Trump actually used his Twitter account to attack the company. He has used the same platform to go after a number of businesses in the past (as well as try to help those that support him personally which is the case with LL Bean), but fortunately for Nordstrom, the move backfired. In a corresponding effort to try and counter the backlash, Trump’s spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway broke the law when she basically did an infomercial for Ivanka’s merchandise on Fox News. This action led to the Office of Government Ethics getting overrun by citizens wanting to report that inappropriate behavior.
The next big target for #GrabYourWallet appears to be a vulnerable Macy’s department store. The company was already in trouble and things only got worse for them after poor 2016 holiday sales. They are even facing a takeover bid from a competitor, Hudson Bay. Ironically, this Canadian based company is facing their own boycott because of their Trump connections, that even spawned a separate Twitter hashtag, #Baycott. Perhaps Macy’s following the lead from Nordstrom (which garnered them #SupportNordstrom type goodwill) will help the retailer turn these problems around. Incidentally, they have a history of taking a stand against Trump’s rhetoric after his Mexican insults from 2015.
Shannon Coulter, who runs the website and is the main public face for #GrabYourWallet, does a great job of tracking all things related to the movement. Not long ago, she reported that the hashtag has well over 7 hundred million impressions on Twitter. She even does an online inventory check related to it all, which recently showed a major drop off in available items. Her findings track pretty evenly with reports from CNBC and Allure.com who say Ivanka’s brand took a major hit in online sales. Perhaps that is why online retailer, Zappos.com, has decided to ask for public feedback regarding their continued sales of Trump products.
Before #GrabYourWallet really took off, fewer than 1 out of every 4 women said they would purchase clothing from the Ivanka line. Also, more than a third of all consumers said they would not even shop at a retailer selling Trump products. And that was long before multiple reports came out that the Trump brand was taking a major hit. The New York Times and CNBC both have said his various executive actions have taken a toll on it. When that is coupled with consumers ‘voting with their wallet‘, things will only get worse for him. A boycott such as this will only get stronger and will refuse to back down because that is the only way the 73 million/54% of the country that voted against Trump in the election can try and sway his opinion to change his nature.
Corporate America needs to take a stand against Trump’s policies because they represent more than just the ‘silent majority’ that the President supposedly says (in my opinion he is lying there) he tries to be a champion for. They represent all kinds of foreign populations and interests around the world as well. So if the #GrabYourWallet movement can tie-in together with Fortune 500 companies and Tech giants challenging the recent unconstitutional travel ban, the protest could reach unprecedented (or as Trump would say, ‘unpresidented’) levels of support. Too bad those leading this boycott were not running Clinton’s campaign. Perhaps we would not even be in this mess to begin with if that happened. So to all of those that agree with what was said here, I hope you continue to #GrabYourWallet and vote against Trump with it.