Walmart caught selling anti-Trump t-shirts
What's gotten into Walmart?
It got caught selling anti-Trump "Impeach 45" t-shirts, imagining that that's a product its customers will lap up instead of call a consumer boycott on. You know, the ones in Ohio and Wisconsin who voted for you-know-who. Half the voting base of the United States, actually. After all, what could be more thrilling than wearing a mobile billboard declaring that one's voting choices were stupid? According to reports, the Walmart stock included even baby clothes. Who doesn't thrill at politicizing baby clothes?
According to Business Insider:
The hashtag "BoycottWalmart" began trending on Twitter after a conservative commentator and political analyst discovered the popular supermarket chain was selling "Impeach Trump" and "Impeach 45" shirts.
Ryan Fournier, an advocate for President Donald Trump, discovered Walmart selling an array of clothing and merchandise which called for the impeachment of the 45th president of the United States. He posted a screenshot of the controversial clothing on Twitter.
Soon his discovery went viral, with people tweeting in outrage against Walmart.
One Twitter user wrote: "@Walmart as of this day you have lost me as a consumer. What an idiotic thing to do by putting impeach 45 clothing on your website. The very idea that you have decided to convicted someone without due process is astounding. #boycottWalmart"
"Someone should come out with arrest 44 t-shirt, I would buy it RT @marklutchman: JUST IN: Walmart is now selling Impeach 45 baby clothes on their website. Anyone else willing to #BoycottWalmart? I know I am," another user said.
This is what makes you wonder what Walmart could have been thinking. Here is a screen grab from Twitter to show what the t-shirts look like:
You'd think they'd know better. But to be fair, it doesn't seem to be as bad a blunder as the one Target made when it opted to sell Che Guevara CD cases for the Christmas 2007 season, triggering an outraged consumer boycott (following an editorial about it here). Walmart's explanations and actions to remove the offending objects suggests a slightly different problem.
That's because what we are seeing here, according to the company, may well be leftovers, the junk that didn't sell, and as a result, it was left up on the website. For offended Trumpsters, that's actually something to smile about.
Business Insider found that Walmart did try to sell something to please every political point of view, including some pro-Trump stuff to serve the market, as it were. Walmart itself said that its t-shirts came as part of a bulk package of designs, probably from someplace like China, which included a little of everything but required the company to take all of it. It would be natural for Walmart to try to just unload the whole shebang.
Given Walmart's customer base, it's quite possible that the pro-Trump stuff blew off the shelves and that all that was left was the other side of things – the fashionable leftist side, sort of suggesting that Walmart has now decided that its customer base comprises hipsters. Maybe the "Impeach Trump" shirts seemed prominent on the website because they were actually all that was left.
If that's the case, then the signs are there that President Trump remains popular, more popular than any of the left's fashionable causes. The Trump stuff is outselling the leftist stuff and therefore is harder to get.
Retailers are usually pretty savvy about knowing the importance of not offending one's customer. In a competitive marketplace, with Costco and Target nipping at its heels, Walmart presumably would know that its customers, if offended, have other places to go. Pro-Trump customers know that the company has a growing reputation for progressivism and are likely to be suspicious of that, which is likely why they are cautious. Rather than an amazing instance of bad commercial judgment, Walmart's backtrack on this, resulting in its pulling the items and apologizing to angry customers, is more likely a sign that the anti-Trump stuff isn't selling the way the pro-Trump stuff is.
We didn't see any lefty boycott when that was going on. I'm gonna guess it went too quick.