Since November 8, hundreds of thousands of anti-Trump protestors have taken to the streets to voice their opposition to the President’s policies. Some of those activists aren’t stopping at waving signs or chanting slogans. Instead, they’re trying to hit the Trump family where they think it will hurt the most: their bottom line.
The #GrabYourWallet protest kicked off in October, when marketing professional Shannon Coulter began circulating a list of companies owned by the Trumps or that are actively supporting or doing business with the Trump family. In addition to obvious targets, like the Trump chain of hotels and golf courses, the list includes dozens of stores stocking Trump-branded merchandise, primarily Ivanka Trump’s line of clothing and shoes, as well as Celebrity Apprentice advertisers. (Donald Trump is an executive producer of the show.)
“What this boycott means to me is that companies that I love, like Nordstrom and Amazon, are making money from the Donald Trump campaign, which to me is synonymous with hate and divisiveness so I can’t, in good faith, shop there anymore,” Coulter told Racked after the election.
The Trump boycott has only gained steam since his victory, and there’s evidence it’s working. Several stores, including Nordstrom, have stopped carrying Trump-related products.
Meanwhile, people in the pro-Trump camp are also getting in on the boycott action, though they’re focused on entities seen as critical of the President. Starbucks came under fire when it announced it would hire 10,000 refugees and criticized the President’s travel ban. Some Trump backers promised to boycott the musical Hamilton after Mike Pence was booed at a performance, and even received a direct message from the cast. Others are avoiding Penzeys Spices, whose owner published a Facebook post calling Trump “openly racist.”
Do boycotts even work?
Boycotts like these tend to grab a lot of attention, but whether they lead to meaningful change is up for debate. Sometimes, consumers fail to follow through on their promises to avoid a particular company. Will an anti-Trump shopper really give up the convenience of Amazon Prime just because the retailer sells Ivanka Trump’s shoes? In other cases, people are boycotting things they wouldn’t buy anyway. Refusing to buy tickets to Hamilton is a painless form of protest, since the Broadway show is sold out well into 2017.
Still, a boycott can be effective if it manages to “create some sort of reputational crisis for the firm that they have to deal with,” Brayden King, a management professor at Northwestern University, told Freakonomics. Only time will tell if an association with Donald Trump will do any lasting damage to the following 25 stores, all of which have been targeted by the #GrabYourWallet Trump boycott.
You can buy pretty much everything on Amazon’s vast online marketplace, including Trump Success cologne and Ivanka Trump dresses, shoes, and perfume.
Though his company sells Trump products, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Donald Trump have clashed in the past. Bezos said he wanted to send Trump into space, while Trump said he’d make things difficult for Amazon if he were elected, presumably because Bezos also owns The Washington Post, which has produced reporting critical of Trump, CNBC reported.
Zappos.com and 6pm.com, both owned by Amazon, are also on the #GrabYourWallet boycott list. They sell Ivanka Trump-branded shoes, clothes, accessories, and handbags.