Despite the big retail push during the holidays, Patagonia blacked out its entire landing page on Monday with an interstitial message taking a stand against President Donald Trump’s move to cut protected lands by 2 million acres. While Patagonia and other outdoor retailers were far from the first brands to pick a political side since Trump’s candidacy-turned-presidency, they were the first to do so during such a critical earnings window.
The National Retail Federation estimates between 20 and 30 percent of annual revenue flows in for this vertical during the critical holiday push.
Marketing thought leaders have said if a brand takes a political stand, it should be authentic and adhere to company values. It appears as though that is the case for Patagonia and other outdoor retailers who railed against Trump’s action.
The New York Times writes on Tuesday:
Mr. Trump on Monday announced that his administration would shrink Bears Ears National Monument, a region of red rock canyons, by 85 percent, and cut another monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante, to about half its current size.
Social media users started to notice it on Monday night, and suggested their friends and family check out Patagonia and REI’s sites.
Patagonia’s site is shrouded in a black interstitial bearing the message:
The President Stole Your Land
In an illegal move, the president just reduced the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history.
Visitors to rei.com have to scroll down a bit to find “We <3 Our Public Lands. Despite the loss of millions of acres of protected land this week, REI will continue to advocate for the places we all love. #unitedoutside”
The New York Times lists another couple retailers against Trump’s move:
North Face, citing federal lawsuits that were filed in anticipation of Mr. Trump’s decision, said it was donating $100,000 to an education center for Bears Ears.
And the Canadian company Arc’teryx announced it would donate the net proceeds of its Nov. 28 post-Thanksgiving e-commerce sales in the United States to The Conservation Alliance and an additional $30,000 to the alliance’s Public Lands Defense Fund, which is challenging the legality of Mr. Trump’s move.
On Twitter, consumers had their say:
Patagonia deserves to be at the top of everybody's holiday shopping lists after this tweet. https://t.co/ti6HgQDGHT
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) December 5, 2017
— Nicholas Kitchel (@nicholaskitchel) December 5, 2017
All of these trump supporters in their Patagonia pullovers are about to be feelin prettty ~conflicted~ with the cold front about to roll through
— Zoë (@zoeeebrown) December 5, 2017
— PCGoneWild (@PC_GoneWild) December 5, 2017
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: L.L.Bean Sees Anti-Trump Customer Boycott