Walmart, Target, Chick-fil-a, Disneyland, Macy’s, Uber, Amazon, Zappos, Bed Bath & Beyond, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, FedEx, Starbucks, Wendy’s, DSW, Ross, Budweiser, Blue Moon, Universal Studios …
The above are just some of the many companies that people are said to be boycotting for one reason or another, whether it be ethical, political, etc.
While I do understand the concept of not wanting to support a place because the owners or management behave unethically or discriminate a group (or groups) of people, I don’t think it is always possible…at least for me.
A phone app called “Boycott Trump”, for example, lists places where one is not supposed to go if they don’t want to support any company that supports Trump and his family. I think it is one thing to say you won’t buy any of his books, stay in his hotels, or buy from Ivanka’s line, but it goes to a whole other level of dedication to fully boycott all of the stores and brands that are linked somehow. Especially when a few of them (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Macy’s, for example) are massive companies that are hard to replace with other substitutes.
I do think we should find out when corporations and CEOs are misstepping or changing hands, and there should be some sort of ramifications to injustice happening, whenever possible. However, it might also be worth acknowledging that people are flawed, society is imperfect, and Internet news isn’t always accurate or balanced. I’m not saying that to discredit anything specifically—nor do I give a free pass for ignorance, prejudice, unfair practice, sexual harassment, or the like—but I always want to encourage that we judge information online with a detective’s eye, not just reading the headlines and highlights. (Which I’ll admit, I’m quite guilty of, too.)
So, yes, in case you’re wondering, I don’t necessarily have any one place—or list of places—that I “will never go to/eat at/shop at again”, because I feel like if I started that, where would it end? Where could, or couldn’t, I go? Yes, some places I try not to shop or eat at, but those decisions are mainly based on past experience (quality of items or price for the quality/quantity). Also, there are plenty of places out there that are doing great things for the environment and giving back to charities; however, I’m not always able to shop at these places because it is more expensive to do so.
What got me thinking about all of this, you wonder? Well, just fyi, one of my favorite online stores (Modcloth) was recently purchased by Walmart. So, time will tell if their quirkiness, uniqueness, and small store charm stays true, or if the corporate brand bleeds through. (I have read that it has changed on the employee work environment side of things.)
Thanks for reading my little rant. Do you agree, or have a counter-argument to my position? Anything I missed pointing out?
One small amendment: I am writing this purely from an individual standpoint; a company taking actions is, I believe, an entirely different situation (e.g., if a company stops advertising somewhere or discontinues working with another company due to their beliefs, actions, etc.).
Amendment 2: I wrote this article just before I found out about the United incident (a man punched and dragged off the airplane to make room for airplane staff after he turned down their $1,000 offer), but since that is not going away any time soon, I feel like I need to comment on this timely occurrence in relation to my above post. Will I boycott United? Yes…ish. I will think long and hard before I fly with them again, and will attempt to fly with any other airline first (besides the airlines that I have had personal bad experiences with already). Because they may not punch anyone again (hopefully), but will they promise to stop overbooking flights? Will they put a cap on how many employees they need to send on a flight, or leave a certain amount of seats open for staff? And what’s with this rumor I hear that they might start charging for carry-on bags? However, I do not have any plans to fly anywhere this year, so time will tell whether this gets remedied somehow or it’s forgotten, and if no other decent-priced tickets remain out there. Sidenote: I hope he at least still got that money he was offered initially. He deserves that and then some.