American retailers get involved in politics, should New Zealand follow?

  • Opinion
  • February 16, 2017
  • Courtney Devereux
American retailers get involved in politics, should New Zealand follow?

Since US President Donald Trump’s inauguration his policies and actions have seldom been out of the news, or the mouths of people across the world. And the latest people to fight back are retail stores.

After Trumps so called ‘Muslim ban’ popular chain store Starbucks protested by pledging to only hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years.

Starbucks wasn’t the only store to openly express it’s distain for the new president. Retailers Apple, Nike and Adidas among many other firms chose to publicly oppose Trump's policy, pole-vaulting the line which normally stops large businesses getting involved.

This is an unusual move for retailers, who usually chose to remain unbiased as not to harm sales or profit. But many campaigns such as ‘Stop Funding Hate’ and ‘Grab Your Wallet’ have out pressure upon retailers to chose a side.

Professor Cathy Parker, an expert in retail enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University says that with the amount of refugees employed in America, they are reluctant to put the livelihood of their employees at risk.

“The large-scale and vocal protest against the ban has forced companies into getting off the political fence,” Says Parker.

“Otherwise they are unwittingly looking like they are siding with Trump - by not having an opinion, and they don't want to risk a consumer boycott.” Says Parker

Uber services lost Three million US Dollars after CEO Travis Kalanick did not criticise the Trump travel ban explicitly enough.  

New Zealand retail services will also be expected to boycott or discontinue any or all merchandise that protestors see unacceptable to have. For example, Trump or Ivanka clothing lines.

As larger chains begin to speak up, New Zealand retail stores should expect to be involved as the new regulations move in. It is up to retailers to decide to play it safe and remain unbiased or to chose a standpoint to operate from.

No matter how controversial, there will be a group of people opposed to their viewpoint, not least the government itself. 

However, hypocrisy will lose customers on all sides of the political spectrum.

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Kit and Ace pulls the plug on international stores

  • News
  • April 28, 2017
  • Sarah Dunn
Kit and Ace pulls the plug on international stores

Canada-based technical apparel retailer Kit and Ace dipped its toes into the New Zealand market recently, opening a series of pop-ups followed by a store in Auckland’s Britomart, which closed at the start of this year. The brand has now abandoned its international strategy, however, announcing it will shutter stores outside Canada to focus on an ecommerce strategy instead.

Read more
 
 

World retail survey indicates now is a time for transformation

  • News
  • April 27, 2017
  • Sarah Dunn
World retail survey indicates now is a time for transformation

Frequent technological upheavals have left retailers struggling with a need to constantly reinvent themselves, says global accounting firm PwC. It’s for this reason that the company has structured its 2017 Total Retail Survey around the investments retailers will need to make to remain competitive.

Read more
 
 

Shoe queen Kathryn Wilson shares a few of her favourite things

  • Design
  • April 27, 2017
  • Elly Strang
Shoe queen Kathryn Wilson shares a few of her favourite things

The Register's sister site Idealog is in the middle of celebrating Design Month. It's picked the brains of some of the most interesting individuals in the industry to find out their favourite design-related things, their not-so-secretive side hustles and what inspires them creatively. Here's shoe designer and retailer Kathryn Wilson.

Read more
 
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Retailer Ingrid Starnes shares a few of her favourite things

  • Design
  • April 26, 2017
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Retailer Ingrid Starnes shares a few of her favourite things

The Register's sister site Idealog is in the middle of celebrating Design Month. It's picked the brains of some of the most interesting individuals in the industry to find out their favourite design-related things, their not-so-secretive side hustles and what inspires them creatively. Here's fashion designer Ingrid Starnes.

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Air New Zealand’s reputation has no weak spots

  • News
  • April 26, 2017
  • Sarah Dunn
Air New Zealand’s reputation has no weak spots

The latest NZ Corporate Reputation Index has ranked our national carrier New Zealand’s most reputable company, with Toyota again coming in runner-up. This is the fourth year running that the two organisations have been in the top two.

Read more
 
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