By Robert Stitt
On July 1, 2015, Macy’s stores dropped the Donald Trump line of men’s wear and fragrances because they disagreed with his stance on immigration. By July 14, over 30,000 Americans had cut up their Macy’s cards and said they would no longer shop at a store that would single out Trump for his views.
Macy’s stock ended up losing almost half of its value in 2015. According to CNN Money, it was one of the year’s worst performers in the S&P 500.
Now, the department store is closing 36 stores around the country including locations in Los Angeles, Buffalo, and Forth Worth. Additionally, they will be laying off nearly 3,000 sales associates, another 1,350 back office employees, and has offered a “voluntary separation opportunity” for 165 senior executives. They are hoping to save around $400 million through the cost-saving measures, but still expect the moves to negatively impact profits by another $200 million.
What was Trump’s response? “I think they were disloyal to the country,” he said. “Because you know, when you think about it, what am I doing? I’m talking about illegal immigration, I’m talking about a lot of good things for the country … and it’s amazing because from the time that we didn’t make this deal, their stock went down.”
Macy’s disagrees. They blame the lack of sales on warm weather in the northern United States. They say that 80 percent of the shortfall comes from a lack of sales in cold-weather apparel such as coats, sweaters, hats, gloves and scarves.
Trump joked, “You know the funny thing? Had they left those ties and shirts, they would be selling like hotcakes today.”
Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren has since back peddled on his once clear stance on the repeal of the Trump line, saying that it had nothing to do with immigration, but rather, “Macy’s is not allowed to carry merchandise from politicians.” He added that if Hillary Clinton were to have a handbag line they would not carry it either.
And what does Trump think of this? The Republican frontrunner said Lundgren and Macy’s choked in response to pressure, adding, “I hate chokers.”