I just read a fascinating article in the Times this
morning. Which chronicled the tale of two farm
stands in Michigan's fruit belt. A unique strip of
land adjacent to Lake Michigan stretching along
much of the state's western border. Just 12 miles
apart, one stand sued the state of Michigan over
Covid mask limitations. As the other enforced
a "no mask no service" policy. The result being
the loss of former customers for both along with
an influx of new shoppers sympathetic to one
or the other. In the end - neither seemed to lose
in the process. Beyond their dignity. So why do
some purposefully pick sides when shopping?!
people choose where they shop for a variety of
reasons. Normally the key trigger points being
price, assortment, quality, and service (in that
order). Thus politics have historically not been
a consideration within the retail mix. However
there have been times when folks purposefully
panned brands for violations of cultural mores.
Especially once political activists realized that
one of the best ways to get their message across
was via cash flow. Who knew buying orange
juice or pasta was a political statement? Or that
where you shop might indicate how one votes.
However it's questionable whether punishing
others for such stances makes a difference.
Damaging any retailer's revenue has impact.
But mostly on the people who work there and
surrounding communities. Creating a ripple
effect that ultimately does nobody any good.
When it comes to local goods and services how
one votes isn't the issue. Rather a firm's success
should be measured by benefits they offer on a
consistent basis. Therefore if you're going to
judge them on anything - it should be based on
the fruit of their labor. And NOT sour grapes.