- Brendan McDermid/Reuters
Since October, many Americans have refused to shop at retailers that carry the Trump family’s merchandise, including Nordstrom and Amazon. The two most notable boycott campaigns, #GrabYourWallet and The Donald J. Trump Resistance, have gained tens of thousands of Facebook and Twitter followers over the past month.
Americans are sharply divided in their opinions on Donald Trump – a split reflected in consumer shopping habits. A new survey by market research firm Morning Consult, which polled 2,088 adults from November 16 to 18, shows respondents are equally likely to support or boycott a retailer that sells Trump merchandise.
Thirty-five percent of those surveyed reported they are not likely to “support or buy from brands or companies that sell Trump products,” while 31% said they are likely to shop somewhere that offers Trump merchandise. Thirty-four percent of consumers said they “don’t know or have no opinion.”
Shannon Coulter, the co-founder of the#GrabYourWallet boycott, started the online campaign in October following the leaked audio of Trump making lewd comments about women. The movement is calling on retailers to drop Trump products from their inventories, Coulter previously told Business Insider. If retailers continue to do business with the president-elect or his family, it could hurt their brands in the long run, Coulter said.
Some retailers have chosen to cut Trump merchandise, while others have remained silent or said they will keep carrying it. Shoes.com, a Zappos competitor, removed Ivanka Trump shoes from its inventory after the election. Macy’s stopped selling Trump products last year – though it still sells Ivanka’s line – and has pledged to continue its ban. But Nordstrom co-President Pete Nordstrom sent an email to employees on November 21 to clarify that the company will continue selling Ivanka Trump clothing and accessories. Consumers are buying her line, so it doesn’t make economic sense to drop it, Fortune reported.
Morning Consult also asked survey participants if they will continue to buy from companies that have removed Trump products from their stores. Thirty-three percent said they are “not likely” to do so, while 32% said “likely” (Thirty-four percent reported had no opinion).
Unsurprisingly, these numbers shift dramatically when filtered based on respondents’ party affiliations, Morning Consult writes. Forty-seven percent of Democrats – and just 11% of Republicans – said they are not likely to shop somewhere that sells Trump products. And 43% of Democrats reported they are likely to support retailers that have dropped Trump goods, compared to 25% of Republicans.
Trump’s nationwide brand power – a measure of retailers’ ability to sell Trump merchandise at higher prices than items would cost without the logo – is the strongest it’s been in 25 years. In an internal study, the marketing research firm Brand Keys found that the overall added value for Trump’s brand increased from 8% in October to 35% after the election in November.
Most retailers are choosing to stay apolitical, perhaps hoping the boycotts will blow over. But Coulter, like many of the boycott’s supporters, said the campaign will not back down.