Throughout his time in office and even before entering the White House, President Donald Trump has perfected his talent for stirring up controversy. Never one to mince words, he often takes direct aim at his opponents in savage tweets and public statements that spark reactions on both the left and the right.
Though he has recently railed against what he calls “left-wing ‘cancel culture’, Trump has been responsible for a number of major brand names being boycotted by consumers. Some ended up in the president’s own crosshairs — while others have been the subject of ire by his fans and detractors.
Below is an ongoing list of the retailers and shoe brands that have been boycotted — or supposedly “cancelled” — after being drawn into a Trump dispute.
Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos, have been one of Trump’s favorite targets for years. The president frequently lambasts the e-commerce giant for not purportedly paying enough taxes and hurting small mom-and-pop retail businesses, although many have speculated that his anger is more tied to the fact that Bezos owns The Washington Post, which has been critical of the current administration. Most recently, Trump has threatened to use the U.S. Postal Service against Amazon, by proposing a price increase on commercial packages. So far, those shots haven’t dented the online juggernaut — in Q2, its sales jumped 40% year-over-year and Bezos just hit a record net worth of $197.8 billion.
Just after the 2016 election, New Balance made headlines after becoming the first major sportswear brand to comment on the outcome. The brand’s ill-timed statement, which came from New Balance VP of public affairs Matt LeBretton, was intended to support its stance against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but was instead interpreted as pro-Trump by many sneaker fans. As a result, several New Balance fans protested by burning the brand’s sneakers on social media.
Under Armour came under fire from all sides back in 2017. Founder Kevin Plank was initially a member of Trump’s American Manufacturing Council and in a February 2017 interview described the new president as a pro-business man who is a “real asset” for U.S. companies — statements that drew criticism from consumers and the brand’s partners, including Stephen Curry, Misty Copeland and Dwayne Johnson. But when Plank and other executives resigned from the council in August 2017 following Trump’s controversial statements about Charlottesville, the president lashed out on Twitter. And in 2019, he described Under Armour’s hometown of Baltimore as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
The president’s latest target is the 122-year-old Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. On Aug. 19, Trump tweeted “Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES – They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less!” His comments came after a viral video revealed a company policy banning “Make America Great Again” and other political attire in the workplace. Goodyear has stood by its policy against politics in the workplace, but since the uproar began, its stock has dropped almost 3% — and licensing partner SCL Footwear, which produces the Goodyear line of work, racing and outdoor shoes, told FN it is seeing an impact.
Through its continued relationship with Colin Kaepernick, Nike has been the subject of multiple boycotts from Trump and his followers, particularly after the Swoosh featured the former NFL quarterback in its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. In a tweet on Sept. 5, 2018, the president wrote: “Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts.” More criticism came in July 2019, when Nike said it was pulling a Fourth of July-themed shoe featuring an early version of the American flag (dubbed the “Betsy Ross flag”) after Kaepernick pointed out the symbol’s connection to slavery. That time Donald Trump Jr. joined other Republican leaders to mount a boycott.
In the summer of 2015, Macy’s Inc. stopped selling Donald Trump’s line of shirts, neckties, watches and cuff links after he called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals at the start of his presidential campaign. Trump immediately retaliated against the department store chain via Twitter, posting a plea for “those who believe in tight border security, stopping illegal immigration & SMART trade deals w/other countries” to boycott the company. Even after Trump secured the victory in the 2016 election, Macy’s then-CEO Terry Lundgren stood by the firm’s decision to not carry the line.
Ivanka Trump Collection
In 2016, following the release of Trump’s now-infamous “Access Hollywood” video, Shannon Coulter, a marketing specialist in California, took to Twitter and started the #grabyourwallet campaign, calling for a boycott of Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump’s clothing and accessories lines. The campaign called out several retailers — including Amazon, Nordstrom, TJ Maxx and Zappos — that carried the products and encouraged others to join her in boycotting their stores. A number of stores (see below) did stop carrying the Ivanka Trump brand, and the first daughter elected to shut down the business in July 2018.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter in February 2017, to address the fallout between Ivanka Trump and Nordstrom, stating that the first daughter “has been treated so unfairly” by the department store chain, which dropped the Ivanka Trump Collection in its stores and online. However, Nordstrom maintained that its decision to cut her line of accessories and shoes was an apolitical one, based on the brand’s performance.
In November 2016, Shoes.com announced via Twitter that it had removed all of Ivanka Trump’s merchandise from its site after it was targeted in the #grabyourwallet campaign and customers threatened to boycott the e-tailer for carrying Trump-branded product. A spokesperson for the Ivanka Trump brand told FN in response to the announcement, “While Shoes.com was an inconsequential part of our business, they were not fulfilling their end of the contract and parting was inevitable.”
Tom Ford was one of several top-tier designers who stated early on that they had no interest in dressing Melania Trump for her many political functions. Other outspoken fashion figures included Sophie Theallet, Marc Jacobs, Phillip Lim and Derek Lam. But Trump took particular aim at Ford, speculating that the designer refused to dress the first lady because she was “not necessarily” his image. And in a 2017 Fox News interview, the president stated that neither he nor his wife were fans of the designer.