Remember that so-called “birther” issue from the presidential campaign? Remember all that press coverage of Donald Trump demanding that Barack Obama turn over his birth certificate—then doubting that the one the president did turn over was authentic? Remember the national sigh of relief when the whole issue finally just went away?
Well, it hasn’t. At least, not for Macy’s.
According to figures just released by YouGov BrandIndex, Macy’s loyalty rating among female consumers tumbled 45 percent—hardly tidings of comfort and joy as the holiday shopping season moves into high gear. Having enjoyed a score of 31 back in November, Macy’s is now slumming in the 17 range. Just for the sake of comparison, J.C. Penney’s score is 38. Ouch. The dip owes itself to The Donald—specifically, Macy’s refusal to pull the Trump Signature Collection from store shelves.
There’s no telling if the nation’s No. 2 retailer is surprised by the popularity plummet, but it shouldn’t be. In November, protestors massed outside Macy’s Herald Square flagship, demanding that the store discontinue Trump’s signature line of pink power ties and French-cuffed dress shirts (just the thing to wear to your next leveraged buyout). The demonstrators, some of whom made a show of taking scissors to their Macy’s credit cards, claimed that Trump’s bleating over Obama’s birth certificate constituted racism—a claim that Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen vigorously denied. “The man doesn’t have a racist bone in his body,” Cohen told The Huffington Post.
Perhaps not, but that hasn’t stopped 673,420 people (and counting) from heading over to SignOn.org to put their names on a “Dump Trump” petition—a catalog of purported Trump offenses that include his making personal attacks on women, referring to African Americans as “the blacks” and his belief that global warming is part of a vast Chinese conspiracy to destroy American capitalism.
Macy’s responded to the petition with a statement maintaining that its “marketing and merchandising are not representative of any political position.” What its management thinks of the most recent slide in loyalty is anyone’s guess. But at press time, many of the Trump Collection items were wearing a “Extra 20 percent off” tag.
Keep watching, shoppers: Soon, those tags might say “Clearance.”