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In a letter to the author of an online petition that called for Macy’s to drop Donald Trump, CEO Terry Lundgren defended its decision to keep working with the outspoken businessman.
“Macy's marketing and merchandising offerings are not representative of any political position,” Lundgren wrote to Angelo Carusone, the author of the “Urge Macy’s To Dump Donald Trump” petition on SignOn.org. Lundgren goes on to stress that Macy’s, like many other companies, makes deals with people despite their political agendas.
“Ours is a free society comprised of a wide range of viewpoints,” Lundgren wrote. “Many of the individuals associated with products sold at Macy's - or at any retailer, for that matter - express personal opinions that are not related to the merchandise we sell or to the philosophies of our company. That is the nature of a free society. In our merchandise assortment, we strive to meet our customers' expectations for unique and interesting products across a broad array of styles, categories and brands. This allows our customers to choose what they prefer.”
Carusone sent the letter to BuzzFeed and also included his response.
Carusone writes that the petition actually has little to do with Macy’s holiday advertising campaign, which will include Trump. Rather, Carusone is targeting the company’s continued partnership with Trump to sell his products.
“The fact is: Macy's doesn't just sell Trump's products,” Carusone wrote. “The relationship goes much deeper than that. I have a letter signed by you and addressed to Trump in which you promise to further develop Trump's brand. Trump's brand has become toxic and contemptible, it represents mean spirited bullying and chicanery; it does not seem consistent with the public's perception and experience with Macy's brand.”
Carusone’s petition went viral earlier this week and is now up to 618,518 signatures. It came after Trump’s now-infamous post-election tirade, in which he called last week’s re-election of President Obama “a total sham and a travesty.”
BuzzFeed notes that Carusone has lead similar campaigns in the past against Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. He is now a member of Media Matters for America, a progressive group.