The “Resistance” movement against President Donald Trump is less than a year-and-a-half old. And so are some of its newest members.
At least, that’s what Walmart is promoting with its new baby clothes.
The retail giant is selling “Impeach 45” and “Impeach Trump” baby and adult apparel for opponents of the controversial 45th president of the United States. But Walmart’s “resistance” appeal has met — for lack of a better term — resistance of its own.
On July 2, Ryan Fournier, a Trump advocate, set the Twitterverse abuzz with his discovery of Walmart’s clothing. He asked @walmart "why are you selling Impeach 45 baby clothes on your website?????"
As the tweet became viral, Trump supporters took to the social media platform to voice their frustration, using the hashtag “#boycottWalmart.” Reactions ranged from calling Walmart unpatriotic to swearing off the company for good.
Walmart’s new clothing line, which is produced by third-party companies, doesn’t seem to be part of any targeted corporate political agenda, though. The retailer also sells Trump slogan “Make America Great Again” and “Donald Trump Speaks For Me” apparel.
Walmart hasn’t shied away from controversial clothing in the past. In December 2016, Walmart stopped selling merchandise with the caption “Bulletproof – Black Lives Matter” after the National Fraternal Order of Police, a police advocacy group, attacked Walmart for “profiting from racial division.” In November 2017, the company sold a shirt that read ““Rope. Tree. Journalist. SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED” before being pulled.
It appears that these anti-Trump items might be pulled as well.
"These items were sold by third-party sellers on our open marketplace and were not offered directly by Walmart," a Walmart spokesperson said. "We’re removing these types of items pending review of our marketplace policies."
Regardless, the "Impeach 45" apparel was a risky move for Walmart due to how many Trump supporters the store attracts, says Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Mangement Consultants.
“Walmart lit the torch of war with the base of Donald Trump,” Schiffer said. “To attack the president is the kiss of death."
Maurice Schweitzer, a professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, said the company should not be too concerned over the boycott, as there "aren't good alternatives to Walmart" for many people.
“In today’s environment, there’s so many calls for boycotts,” Schweitzer said. “Boycotts rarely have long-lasting effects."