Lots of businesses have been caught in the crosshairs this presidential election, but none so odd as L.L. Bean, purveyor of classic American apparel and accessories.
Linda Bean, L.L. Bean’s namesake heiress, to President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign. This landed the retailer on a boycott list from a group called Grab Your Wallet, which advocates boycotting a number of businesses that contributed to the candidate or that sells Trump branded products.
In response Shawn Gorman, L.L.Bean executive chairman, tried to deflect any damage to the brand with a statement posted to its Facebook page:
Fittingly, the debate has now found a home on Twitter, where the President Elect chose to endorse the retailer and ask for supporters to shop there.
Thank you to Linda Bean of L.L.Bean for your great support and courage. People will support you even more now. Buy L.L.Bean.
L.L. Bean is far from the only retailer on the list. There are 39 retailers on Grab Your Wallet’s , including Amazon, HSN, Macy’s, Nordstrom and T.J. Maxx. (FORBES is included on the list of additional entities to consider boycotting.)
Macy’s stopped selling Trump branded goods in July 2015, shortly after he said some Mexican immigrants were criminals and racists. But Macy’s still sells s line, which earns it a place on the boycott list.
But boycotts don’t always have a fiscal impact. Walmart has a long history of consumer opposition due to employment practices, real or perceived. This hasn’t stopped it from becoming the largest retailer and private employer in the United States.
in April 2016, when it chose to publicly state a bathroom policy in support of transgender rights.
Both boycotts forced Target to change its position. Target withdrew support for Emmer and in August, management announced it would spend $20 million to add