As a petition encouraging Macy's to "Dump Donald Trump" continues to gain steam, with nearly 558,000 signatures, the retailer shows no sign of dropping the outspoken tycoon.
Macy's has long featured Mr. Trump in its TV advertising and carries an exclusive line of Trump branded men's apparel, home goods and a fragrance collection called "Success." But the retailer is coming under fire for its partnership with Mr. Trump, who has raised the ire of consumers, especially throughout the recent election cycle.
The petition at SignOn.org accuses Mr. Trump of participating in "especially unpleasant, nasty and despicable behavior." The petition goes on to state that Mr. Trump is sexist, denies climate change and has "perpetuated the racially charged birther conspiracy."
The retailer says its marketing and merchandise offerings are not representative of any political position. "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," said Holly Thomas, a Macy's spokeswoman.
Macy's new holiday campaign features Mr. Trump in a TV spot dubbed "Another Miracle on 34th Street ." In the spot he tugs on the beard of Kris Kringle to see for himself whether it really is Santa Claus. At the end of the spot, Mr. Trump is shown addressing a letter to Santa Claus, to which Mr. Kringle says, "If I can win you over, there's still hope."
The spot seems to make light of Mr. Trump's conspiracy-theory tendencies. Throughout the election cycle he has been critical of President Barack Obama and has long alleged that he was born outside of the U.S. and therefore not eligible for the presidency. Just before the election he called upon President Obama to release his college transcripts and passport applications in exchange for a donation of $5 million to the charity of President Obama's choice. The president did not acknowledge Mr. Trump's offer.
Of the new spot, Ms. Thomas said, "A longtime focus of Macy's holiday advertising has been to celebrate the season's spirit of generosity and goodwill through our ongoing 'Believe' campaign, and that is the sole message of our holiday television commercials."