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Most readers oppose Wegmans boycott

A large majority of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll oppose calls to boycott Wegmans Food Markets Inc. for selling Trump Winery products in some of its stores. 

Wegmans is among a number of well-known companies that have faced political pressure for selling Trump brand products. As reported first by the Washington Post last week, members of a Virginia chapter of the National Organization for Women support a boycott of Wegmans unless it stops selling products from the Trump Winery in Charlottesville.

“Certainly if Wegmans is carrying Trump wines, I personally will not shop there,” NOW President Terry O’Neill told the Post.

Wegmans also is one of dozens of big-name retailers targeted by the #GrabYourWallet boycott, a social media campaign launched last fall after the release of Access Hollywood video containing lewd comments about women made by Donald Trump. Other companies on the list include L.L. Bean, Amazon and Macy’s.

Not all current boycotts are anti-Trump. One recently was launched against Nordstrom after it stopped selling his daughter Ivanka’s fashion line. The president himself has taken aim at Nordstrom and other retailers that have dropped Trump family products. In 2015, when Macy’s dropped his clothing line after comments Trump made about immigrants, he tweeted: “I hope the boycott of @Macys continues forever.”

As with the anti-Trump boycotts, most Snap Poll respondents do not support boycotts of Nordstrom and other retailers that have dropped Trump brand products, but by a somewhat narrower margin.

Wegmans has responded to the boycott calls by saying its role as a retailer is to offer choice to customers. “For various reasons, we are sometimes asked to stop selling a product,” the company said in a Facebook post. “Our response is always the same, no matter the product: How a product performs is our single measure for what stays on our shelves and what goes. Individual shoppers who feel strongly about an issue can demonstrate their convictions by refusing to buy a product.”

Approximately 1,150 readers participated in this week’s Snap Poll, which was conducted Feb. 20 and 21.

Do you support or oppose the calls to boycott Wegmans and other retailers that sell Trump brand products?

Support 14%

Oppose 86%


Do you support or oppose boycotting retailers like Nordstrom that have dropped Trump brand products from their offerings?

Support 25%

Oppose 75%


How often do your political views influence your retail shopping decisions?

Often 14%

Occasionally 26%

Seldom 33%

Never 27%



An attack on Wegmans by self-absorbed progressives who prefer to ridicule an America that chose Trump as its president is almost an act of treason. Rioting because of a lost election is absurd. Why not defend the man who promised real change as opposed to the mythical “hope and change.”

—Jim Growney, Naples, Fla. 

When I read about the boycott of Trump wine sold at Wegmans, I was disappointed that it is not offered here in Rochester. Had it been, I would have gone out and bought a couple of cases. I thought it funny that the wine actually sold out in Virginia where the boycott originated. Most disturbing to me is that Wegmans was brought into this firestorm of protest by no choice of their own. Retailers have no place in politics. I usually do not allow my political views to influence my retail shopping decisions; however, because Nordstrom made the choice to enter the political fray, they are now off my list.

—Lou Ann Owens, Rush

I support boycotts as political statements and tools, including their use by groups whose policies I oppose. Companies can and do use their profits for political action. As a potential source of those profits, I will spend my money with businesses whose policies and political activity I support. Hobby Lobby long ago lost my business; Nordstrom will certainly lose others’ business. —Michael Leach, Rochester

I usually boycott a company when they make a corporate decision that is counter to my moral standards. I do not boycott or endorse a boycott that targets a particular brand being sold by a company like this boycott of Wegmans. I would not be buying retail from anyone if I based my buying on having absolutely no brands that I didn’t like for some political or moral reasons. So this is just foolishness trying to be annoying to Trump by boycotting Wegmans.

—Dave Fister

These two calls for boycotting products (are) absurd, in my opinion. We all have choices and if that is something you believe strongly in, go ahead and boycott (or get a life). It is your right. A more appropriate boycott, in my opinion, would be for goods purchased overseas from manufacturers or countries that exploit workers, mistreat women and children or pollute our environment.

—Mike Hogan, Information Packaging 

What is next? Boycotting bookstores because they sell books with ideas some people don’t like? Who gets to decide which books are acceptable—the self-righteous who know better?

—Aaron Hilger

This is classic economic bullying. A business should have the right to decide what products to carry and what products not to carry. If you don’t like the name of the brand, just don’t buy it. Trying to impose (on) other people not to buy or not able to buy is so un-American to the point of pathetic. In fact, I have to thank those who want to boycott Trump’s wine to let me know that there is a Trump brand of wine. I’ll make a special trip to Wegmans to pick up a few bottles of Trump wine in support of Wegmans.

—Patrick Ho

As usual, Wegmans has it right. What a retail outlet decides to carry should be dictated by sales of that particular product, not the political beliefs (left, right or center) of a few unhappy souls. —Rob Ewanow 

Our nation faces important challenges, some of them posed by President Trump. We need to focus on the challenges, not personalities. The bitterness of partisan politics is spilling over into many spheres of life, poisoning relationships and making it more difficult to find solutions to the problems we face. We need to acknowledge that the folks we disagree with also want what’s best for our country and to respect that.

—Bill Murphy

Go, Mr. Wegman and stand your ground. Additionally, congratulations on your sell-out of the Trump brand wines in Virginia since the “boycott.” Maybe you should consider selling Ivanka’s line also. Your sales obviously will not miss this small portion of narrow-minded, uninformed, misguided individuals. Stay the course; you run a great unmatched grocery experience wherever you are. Thank you.

—David Topian, Victor

Boycotting is just another ruse employed by minority interest groups to try and gain leverage over the majority. The majority doesn’t need to boycott. Their voice is heard in the marketplace! —Hal Gaffin, Fairport

I will not boycott Wegmans but WILL boycott the wine! If sales of the wine go down, then the computers at Wegmans will kick the product out … and replace the product with something that sells better! Message sent!

—Patti Heveron

I buy American-made products when available. If retailers make decisions on what to stock and sell based upon their beliefs instead of sound marketing, they may go out of business. It’s their choice.

—Gary Wood

The consumer has free choice to either purchase, or not purchase, a product. If you are opposed to the manufacturer, simply don’t buy it. Eventually, if enough people choose to not purchase the product, the retailer will stop selling it. Don’t punish the retailer.

—Michael Shacket, Rochester

Was there immigrant labor used in any of the process of making the wine? If so, I hope they were paid a living wage, along with great benefits! I’m sure the vineyards made sure they all had their I-9s filled out. Trump’s clothing was all imported. Ivanka’s clothing is all imported. They are part of the problem. You would think that they would open factories to make the textiles and garments in the USA. They expect other companies to do this. I wouldn’t patronize any of their businesses.

—Jennifer Apetz

There are plenty of other brands to offer without the controversy of offering the Trump brand. 

—Steve Lipson

I do not support, however, individuals do have the right to free speech. These type of tactics seldom work or may even backfire. 

—Vicki Vetere

Are the inmates in charge of the asylum? Wegmans consistently appears in polls as one of the best employers to work for, and the Wegman family is known for its generous charitable giving. The quality of their personnel and store presentation is unrivaled and enjoyed almost to a cult level. Just look at the parking lot at Wegmans at Routes 31 and 250 in Perinton and then glance over to the lot at the Tops market. Any doubts now? And the snowflakes want to boycott Wegmans?

—Art Elting, Palmyra

I now will go out of my way to buy Trump wines. The sale of Trump wines has exploded in Virginia since the so-called boycott. The silent majority has spoken!

—John Rynne

If the Trump family fails to divest itself from its business interests, it is incumbent upon us to divest ourselves of their products and of the companies that continue to sell them. I love Wegmans. But I cannot abide a president that uses his position to enrich himself and his relations using the power of the presidency. He is MY employee and he needs to act like what he is—a public servant, not the oligarchical king of America.

—Lee Drake, CEO OS-Cubed Inc

The narrow-minded leftists are sure sore losers. They are acting like immature children having a temper tantrum. I ignore them for what they are. These recommendations for boycotts and their other childish behavior simply reinforce the reasons for doing so. For eight years we had to tolerate the incompetence of their “leader,” but we did it (in) peace without the illogical and immature reaction exhibited by these leftist babies.

—Jim Weisbeck, Bloomfield

People just can’t seem to get over the fact that Trump won. It’s time to grow up and move on. (But certainly not with MoveOn.org!) Companies should carry products that their customers want. It’s that simple. I believe Nordstrom made a decision to drop Ivanka Trump’s line of clothes because of the political leanings of their CEO! That’s his right (unless it violates his fiduciary responsibility as CEO), but it may not be the best for his company. The protesters of Wegmans carrying Trump wines have the right to do so, but what do they think they will accomplish? I personally think Wegmans should carry more brands! They always seem to be shrinking the number of brands they carry in favor of their own label. I think the protesters and Nordstrom’s CEO are just a bunch of sore losers having temper tantrums because their choice lost. They never learned to play nicely in the sandbox. Well, it’s been a month plus and life is going on. Get with it or go see a psychologist to deal with your “post-election stress”!

—Keith Robinson, Diamond Packaging

I applaud Wegmans for their stance to not cave (to) calls to boycott. It’s about time companies start standing up to these pressure groups every time they need to “whine.” Personally, if I don’t like a company’s public stance on an issue, I just don’t by their products. Don’t insult my intelligence about treatment of women when these same people were silent about Bill Clinton. 

—Todd Black, Black’s Hardware

Give me a break. They can boycott Wegmans all they want, but we all know that they’ll be shopping at Wegmans again as soon as the temporary outrage subsides.

—Rich Calabrese, Jr. Rochester 

When Donald Trump ran for president and after he “won” the election, it was explained to him many times, by many people, that the U.S. president is a public servant, not a businessman in a joint venture with the government of the U.S. in order to further both of their business interests. It was explained to him that, regardless of what the Constitution does or doesn’t say about ethics, it is a tradition going back to the country’s founding—and more recently, back to the 1978 Ethics in Government Act—that our presidents do not act in a capacity intended to further their and their families’ own personal wealth. In modern times, that means either divesting his holdings or putting them in a blind trust. Trump refuses to get it. His job demands that he be in this for the American people, not for the sake of his own personal profits and wealth. Since we don’t have a presidential recall feature in the Constitution, the only thing that remains for the American people to do at this point, in order to educate Trump on this issue, is, as American citizens and on a massive scale, to cease doing business with companies his family personally owns and controls. They should do this by (a) personally ceasing to do business with any such companies, and (b) encouraging American companies, nonprofit organizations and governmental bodies, in the strongest possible ways, to cease doing any business with companies whose beneficiaries are the Trumps. We may not be able to remove Trump’s immense conflicts of interest with his overseas holdings, but we must do what we can within the U.S.

—Dan Ruchman, Ruchman & Associates

It pains me to click “support” as I think this boycotting is ridiculous, but to each his own. Honestly, it’s time for society to pull up their big boy/girl pants. I teach my children that whining will not gain you anything and this is a new form of whining.

—Matthew Connolly

Personally, I would not buy Trump wines; we have better wines to choose from out of our region. I agree with Wegmans—if you don’t like or want their product, don’t buy it. If sales and demand decline and remains low, the product most likely will be removed. Wegmans is a great Rochester company—why would we support boycotting them over offering us choices? This isn’t even political, it is about retail choices. If you don’t want to buy Trump products, then don’t buy them.

—Keith Newcomer

Trump won. Can we get over it and move on? Who boycotted Obama for eight years? Oh, that’s right, if you did you were a racist. Seriously, boycotting a grocery store for wine?

—Doug Strang 

Wegmans’ response to a boycott is what makes them a leader in what they do. They respond to their customers’ wants and needs, not to radical left-wing political activists.

—J. Camar

To boycott an entire store or chain seems inappropriate; however, I will support or boycott specific product lines in accordance with my conscience. This has been my practice as a consumer for many years, starting long before this administration.

—N. D. May 

I find it amazing that so many young people cannot deal with reality, other than that which they create in their minds. And coddling them is not helping. Time for them to brush off their snowflakes and get back to work.

—Richard Phelps, Victor

As long as they sell, they will; when the brand stops, so will they. I wish you in the media would stop trying to influence behavior by supporting this crap. Why don’t you report on something important like the pathetic graduation rate of the city schools and the problems that causes? Why should a great company like Weggies have to waste time and resources defending their right to sell a product, yet you don’t crucify the inept politicians that are criminal!

—Mike Masters

I see this as akin to the freedom of the press. However, I strongly oppose the promotion of Trump brands and real estate holdings by the government.

—Wayne Donner, Rush

I’m sure Wegmans will stop selling Trump merchandise if people stop buying it.

—David Rubin 

Just don’t purchase the Trump wine and Wegmans will remove it from their shelves due to lack of sales. No point in boycotting Wegmans—just boycott anything Trump. By the way, I sorely miss Jay Birnbaum’s comments. We were all enriched by all his work.

—Michael L. Harf

This is really getting ridiculous. How low people have sunk. I am not a Trump fan, but I think people have gotten too far outside of the insanity line when they call for this. Get over it and work through your politicians to effect any changes you want made. Trump is our president and all the boycotting in the country is not going to change that. As a nation we have definitely moved away from being a democracy when we can’t just calm down, accept what is and use our democratic process of contacting our local government representatives to make our views known—professionally instead of acting like a spoiled kid that didn’t get their way.

—Grant Osman

Business, markets, and negotiations focus on win-win outcomes, which are more helpful, happy, supportive and peaceful. Politics, elections and boycotts focus on win-lose outcomes, which are more hurtful, sad, controlling and violent. Freedom of speech and freedom of choice are both important political and business concepts to embrace. Thankfully, my wise, successful, legal immigrant grandfather advised me to be a businessman, as he became, rather than a lawyer. I know I am much happier, more autonomous, more competent, and more sociable as a result.

—Chuck Masick, magic institute of tutoring 

I always let my views inform what and who I buy from. I try to be consistent with my message. Wegmans got it right again, it is up to the consumer to decide. If I get the sense the retailer is making political statements I do not agree with, I will do my part to send them a message I am hoping they go out of business!

—Mark Williams

Honestly people, get a grip!! If you do not like a product, do not buy it. If enough people stop buying a product, then that retailer will stop selling it. That is how a free market works. I do NOT need retailers telling me how to behave politically or a small group of people with too much time on their hands making decisions for me. This is really getting out of hand!

—Marianne Jones

Wegmans made the right decision in keeping the Trump wines on the shelves. No retailer should be pushed into making a decision on product placement based on someone’s political views. If Nordstrom pulled the Trump brand due to lack of sales, then they made the correct decision, but the timing was horrible. I feel that low sales was an excuse for their political views.

—M. Wahl

I think most smart retailers try hard to remain apolitical. They risk disillusioning some customers in order to appease others! I think Wegmans (and all retailers) should ignore these demands, just as they should ignore any other “group” who may demand, for example, they stop selling birth control products. These “groups” who pop up out of nowhere and demand others do this or that are arrogant, divisive and are a cancer upon our society. And I wonder who is funding them?

—George Thomas, Ogden

How about directing all this anger towards something positive instead of all this negative BS?

—Ted Marks







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