When should retailers speak out against politics?

Endaba Group

Since US President Donald Trump’s inauguration last month, Trumponomics and his actions have rarely been out of the news/conversations globally. Most people are divided and many are making their voices heard. Retailers are now jumping over the line which normally stops large businesses getting involved. Trump’s travel ban spurred Starbucks to speak out, pledging to hire 10,000 refugees over the next 5 years. Apple, Nike and Adidas are amongst others who are opposing Trump’s policy. But with government administration that puts customers and staff at risk, when should they break their silence?

From a commercial perspective, it’s really important for retailers to speak out. Consumers today relate to brands who reflect their own political and ethical values. If they don’t speak out, does that mean consumers will decide they’re aligned with Trump? However if they do, by picking a side, they will still incur negative PR and today this spreads like wildfire on social media.

It’s difficult to judge how retailers should act during this time of uncertainty; but is it better to say something than nothing at all?