Wegmans is facing pressure to stop selling Trump wines in stores near the president’s Virginia winery, The Washington Post reports. Wegmans, a regional chain previously named America’s favorite grocery store, sells Trump wines at 10 Virginia locations, spokeswoman Jo Natale told HuffPost.
Trump Winery and its 1,300 acres in central Virginia were purchased by the president during a foreclosure sale in 2001. In December, the vineyard asked the Labor Department for permission to hire foreign workers in what a federal ethics expert called a “classic conflict of interest.”
Virginia Wegmans stores carry five types of Trump wine, including Trump blanc de blanc and Trump Winery sauvignon blanc. They won’t be going anywhere soon unless sales slow, Natale said.
“How a product performs is our single measure for what stays on our shelves and what goes,” she told HuffPost in a statement. “Individual shoppers who feel strongly about an issue can demonstrate their convictions by refusing to buy a product. When enough people do the same... we stop selling that product in favor of one that’s in greater demand.”
The Post reports the boycott was organized at a weekend meeting of the Prince William County (Virginia) chapter of the National Organization for Women. But Hala Ayala, the chapter president who moderated the meeting, told HuffPost a boycott was “never” formally discussed “in any shape or form,” noting it’s against the group’s bylaws to boycott a store. Wegman’s is also identified in the list of Trump business partners compiled by organizers of the nationwide #grabyourwallet boycott movement; Ayala said she assumes an informal discussion about Wegmans must have occurred among members of the crowd. Steve Aman, a customer who expressed his disapproval on the Wegmans Facebook page, told The Huffington Post became aware of the issue after seeing similar posts on Facebook.
Nevertheless, NOW’s national president told the Post she wouldn’t be grabbing groceries at the chain.
“Certainly if Wegmans is carrying Trump wines, I personally will not shop there,” said Terry O’Neill, who was not at the meeting.
Wegmans joins retailers like Nordstorm, T.J. Maxx and Under Armour that have been targeted for their business ties to the Trump family. While it’s doubtful this regional boycott will reach Uber levels, it’s certainly one more sign many shoppers don’t want their money benefitting the controversial commander-in-chief.