Another day, another retail boycott urged by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The real estate mogul took to Twitter Thursday afternoon to encourage shoppers to steer clear of the brand that once carried his clothing line but severed ties with him shortly after he called Mexicans “rapists” in his campaign kick-off speech.
“Macy’s was very disloyal to me bc of my strong stance on illegal immigration. Their stock has crashed! #BoycottMacys,” Trump wrote.
Trump’s move came just days after he called out Starbucks during a campaign event, referencing the coffee chain’s decision to offer red cups this holiday season that are not bedecked with winter imagery such as snowflakes. Some critics have said the cups are evidence of the so-called “war on Christmas.”
“Did you read about Starbucks?” Trump asked rally attendees in Springfield, Ill. “No more ‘Merry Christmas’ at Starbucks. No more. Maybe we should boycott Starbucks.”
It’s not clear from the tweet whether Trump was trying to draw a connection between Macy’s recent stock plunge and the company’s decision to part ways with him. But the stock drop Wednesday appears clearly tied to the retailer’s surprisingly dismal earnings report. The department store chain said its revenue had dipped 5.2 percent in the most recent quarter.
The company attributed the weak performance to unseasonably warm weather, which perhaps kept shoppers from ponying up for winter coats and other cold-weather gear. Macy’s flagship stores are also heavily dependent on tourist spending, and the chain said a slowdown in spending by international visitors has crimped sales in recent months. Meanwhile, Macy’s has faced broader challenges trying to bring its old-school business model into the era of digital retailing. Macy’s has said previously that Trump’s line was a relatively small sliver of its business, so dropping his line would not materially impact its overall sales.
In other words, it does not seem likely that Macy’s stock drop has much connection to parting ways with Trump.
Macy’s has offered differing explanations for getting rid of the Trump clothing collection. On July 1, when it initially announced the move, the company said it was because it believed that Trump’s statements about Mexican immigrants were “inconsistent with Macy’s values.”
But in an August television appearance, Macy’s chief executive Terry Lundgren explained the decision this way:
“If Hillary Clinton had a handbag collection, we wouldn’t be carrying that, either,” Lundgren said. “We will not carry any product from any candidate, ever. And we’ve never had this experience, this is a brand-new experience for us, and I hope it will not be something we will have to deal with in the future.”