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Donald Trump took to Twitter on Thursday morning to encourage his followers to shop at L.L.Bean, following a call for a boycott of its goods in light of one board member’s support of him.
L.L.Bean, the Maine-based brand best known for its duck boots and outdoor apparel, landed on the #GrabYourWallet boycott list, which aims to identify “retailers that do business with the Trump family.” The connection was that Linda Bean, a company family member who serves on its board of directors, donated to a Trump super PAC.
L.L.Bean executive chairman of the board Shawn Gorman, also part of the Bean family, attempted to diffuse the situation with a Facebook post on Sunday evening, stating that “no individual alone speaks on behalf of the business” and that “L.L.Bean does not endorse political candidates, take positions on political matters, or make political contributions.” He added that the more than 50 family member-owners hold diverse views and that the company leadership was “disappointed” to learn that #GrabYourWallet was advocating a boycott against it.
On Thursday, however, Trump tweeted out his support for the company and instructed his followers to buy its products.
Thank you to Linda Bean of L.L.Bean for your great support and courage. People will support you even more now. Buy L.L.Bean. @LBPerfectMaine— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2017
As one Twitter commenter wrote of the PR complications this creates for the brand: “Poor L.L.Bean. Trump just turned the majority of Americans against you. Sad!”
Consumers’ responses on Twitter and Facebook have ranged vastly, from Trump fans declaring their support for L.L.Bean, to people writing that a company boycott is misdirected, to individuals saying that they won’t buy the brand’s products anymore.
@LLBean As the tolerant left boycotts your company, I will be placing an order later this week. DJT supporters please support L.L. Bean.— Traveler (@NoFencejumpers) January 12, 2017
Others are calling out the President-elect for, essentially, acting as a salesman for a company.
As of yet, L.L.Bean hasn’t followed up with a direct response to Trump’s tweet, though whoever runs its Twitter account is sending blanket responses to the commentary coming its way.
“Thank you for taking the time to share your views. I have forwarded your concerns to the appropriate department. ^tr” for the negative comments; “Thank you for taking the time to share your kind thoughts. I have forwarded your comments to the appropriate area. ^tr” for the positive ones.