Patagonia, REI Blast Trump on National Monument Rollbacks
Anyone who visited Patagonia’s website on Monday night intent on searching for some holiday gifts was in for a surprise. Replacing the usual shopping choices were giant white letters on a black background offering a stark message: “The President Stole Your Land.” The message continued in smaller letters: “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.” The page was referring to President Trump’s order Monday reducing the size of two national monuments in Utah by nearly 2 million acres combined. REI, another recreational gear company, devoted part of its homepage to a more modest protest. “Despite the loss of millions of acres of protected lands this week, REI will continue to advocate for the places we all love.”
Total Retail's Take: Both of these retailers have been outspoken critics of President Trump as well as long-time supporters of environmental causes, so it's not surprising they've taken exception to Trump's decision to reduce the size of two national monuments in Utah. The outdoor apparel and gear retailers, competitors of each other, can agree that a reduction in national park land doesn't align with their company missions and, more importantly, their customers’ opinions on the issue. Furthermore, today's younger consumers, including millennials, have been found more likely to buy from brands that support pro-social messages, sustainable manufacturing methods and ethical business standards. Therefore, the responses from REI and Patagonia are not only expected, but likely make good business sense as well.