Recently, the profits of no less than four major, public American companies have been significantly affected by the politics of the firms, which have led to consumer backlash against them, particularly amongst conservative voters. Kellogg’s, Target, Nordstrom’s and Twitter all have seen profits decrease and in some cases physical locations close because consumers have angrily responded to official company policies and political stances.
The communication company built around 140-character messages is hurting in a serious way after dramatically lower revenue was announced for the fourth quarter of last year. This continues a long downward trend for the company, which has suspended numerous users for “politically incorrect” or hate speech, even though such messaging is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Rather than encouraging controversy, which would be good public relations for the firm, the company actively shuts down users and has even threatened to suspend President Trump himself. Twitter’s stock price has fallen by more than two-thirds in the past three years, and the company has laid off hundreds of employees and dramatically shrunk the size of its headquarters office in San Francisco.
Of the four companies named here, perhaps Kellogg’s has suffered the most, with the brand being forced to announce layoffs and close 39 distribution centers nationwide in the wake of boycotts caused by the company’s hardline policy toward conservative website Breitbart News and Kellogg’s funding progressive groups and causes to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Kellogg’s has made no secret of giving money to organizations such as George Soros’ Tides Foundation, the Urban Institute, the United Nations Foundation, National Public Radio, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Council of La Raza, the NAACP, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the World Resources Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Despite supporting myriad social justice groups, Kellogg’s has shockingly been accused of racism towards its own factory workers and profiting from child labor overseas.
More than half a million people have signed a petition to #DumpKelloggs, and the company’s stock has fallen precipitously. The perception of the brand on social media has also suffered tremendously, with public approval of the firm dropping 75 percent since November of 2016, according to social media analytics company Taykey.
Many Americans are familiar with Nordstrom’s department stores as carrying fine upscale merchandise and having a famously open-ended return policy. But the company’s exchange policy hasn’t been the only thing accused of being liberal lately. In early February, the store told news outlets it would be dropping Ivanka Trump’s line of branded fashion items due to supposedly declining sales.
However, this action followed liberal activist group Grab Your Wallet targeting the store (and 60 others) for carrying Trump-branded merchandise. An internal company email dated February 3 referenced President Trump’s recent travel ban.
In response to the store’s announcement, President Trump tweeted, “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” The department store company’s stock immediately declined by .65 percent following Trump’s tweet, contributing to a larger decline of 10 percent in the last 12 months.
Fox News reporter Geraldo Rivera, who helped Ivanka with the Nordstrom deal, tweeted about the company’s policy and stated, “I think Nordstrom’s stabbed Ivanka in the back. I think what they did was really low down and dirty. I was on Celebrity Apprentice — the President’s last season of the hit primetime program and one of the tasks was [helping] Ivanka; we had to set up a shop to sell Ivanka shoes, and Nordstrom’s was all over it; they were psyched about being in business with Ivanka.”
But Rivera wasn’t buying Nordstrom’s excuses about sales. “I totally do not buy this excuse that her sales are suffering. They were using Ivanka to set up, I think it was the first Nordstrom’s in Manhattan, if I’m not mistaken, in that new Hudson Yards development over there. And she was going to be the anchor of the retail side of it. She’s got amazingly great taste. My daughter Isabella and her girlfriends helped her with that task.”
Strangely enough, a 2016 survey by research company BrandKeys found that 51 percent of millennial women were still considered “very likely” or “extremely likely” to buy products from Ivanka’s line, even if they disagreed with her father’s political policies. Since Nordstrom’s decision to cut the line, a boycott of the store by conservatives has begun; many boycotters have chosen to cut up their Nordstrom’s credit cards in protest.
Retailer Target has suffered egregiously since it announced its policy of converting single-sex-only changing rooms and bathrooms to mixed-use in order to cater to the store’s very few transgender customers. Although in practice, only one in 2400 Americans changes their name from one sex to the other, and only 22.7 percent of people believe that a person should be able to change their gender identity on government documents, Target has nonetheless taken an extremely unpopular position on this issue, choosing to favor a very few customers over the wishes of many of their others, some of whom took advantage of the new policy to videotape young women changing in mixed-use dressing rooms, leading to numerous lawsuits and punitive losses for the company.
In fact, since announcing their disastrous bathroom and changing room policy, Target lost some $10 billion — approximately 20 percent — of its market value and was forced to spend $20 million on additional single-person-occupany bathrooms and changing rooms to cater to a very small number of transgender customers. The company has also seen a marked reduction in walk-in traffic to its stores even as competitor Walmart has seen an increase at its locations.
Ed Vitagliano, an executive vice president of the American Family Association, says that other brands have taken heed of the stumbles of Kellogg’s, Nordstrom’s, Target and Twitter and have chosen to avoid funding and placating left-wing advocacy organizations because of real costs to profits and consumer goodwill.
The boycott of Target, for example, “makes it easier for [other] company officials to address gay groups, transgender groups and say ‘We have a responsibility to our shareholders, and we do not want to anger our customer base, and so we’re not taking your side or the other side,'” said Vitagliano.
~ Conservative Zone