Macy’s (M) said on Wednesday it was phasing out its Donald Trump line of menswear as a result of the Republican presidential candidate’s derogatory comments last week about Mexican immigrants.
It was the second time in less than a week that Trump, a real estate developer cum reality-television star, has seen a major business partner sever ties after comments in which he accused many undocumented Mexicans of committing serious crimes, including murder, rape, and drug dealing. Last week, Comcast’s (CMCSA) NBCUniversal canceled plans to air Miss USA and Miss Universe — the network’s joint venture with Trump — while also opting not to invite Trump back for another season of his reality show The Celebrity Apprentice.
“Macy’s is a company that stands for diversity and inclusion,” the department store said. “We are disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico,” Macy’s added, decrying Trump’s depiction of Mexicans, Mexican Americans and Latinos, “who have made so many valuable contributions to the success of our nation.”
Those contributions also presumably include helping Macy’s return to fast growth. The retailer has made it a major priority to reach Latinos, the fast growing major segment of the U.S. population, by allowing its stores in areas like Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Dallas and Houston, among others, tailor their assortment to local tastes. Macy’s reported a slight drop in comparable sales last quarter, making it extremely risky to alienate such a sizable part of its customer base.
Macy’s started selling Trump’s menswear line — including $70 dress shirts, $65 ties, and cuff links and watches — in 2004. Trump, who declared his candidacy for the presidency last week, has also appeared in Macy’s commercials.
In a speech last week, Trump said of Mexican immigrants: “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists,” adding: “Some, I assume, are good people.” After Univision cut ties with Trump’s Miss USA Pageant, Trump sued the Spanish-language network for $500 million.
In a statement obtained by PBS, Trump said it was he who had ended the Macy’s relationship, and that in any case, he was uncomfortable with the fact that his line there was made in China.
“Clearly, NBC and Macy’s support illegal immigration,” The Donald said. “Both Macy’s and NBC totally caved at the first sight of potential difficulty with special interest groups.”