In its 51 years of operations, Americana retailer The Gap (NYSE: GPS) has never endorsed a political candidate. 2020 is a year of many firsts, and it’s also the first year that the struggling clothing retailer has taken a position on an election by endorsing Joe Biden for president. Business Outsider obtained the full press release four days in advance of the public announcement:
“We want our readers and dedicated fans to know that we take this responsibility seriously. The Gap is strongly encouraging you to vote for Joe Biden for president.
When you enter that polling booth, think to yourself, ‘Which candidate would lead better in a nice relaxed fit pair of classic blue denim jeans and a 100% cotton t-shirt?’ Joe Biden is the clear answer.
Life has been challenging for many in 2020. Many have found themselves out of their work jeans and in their breathable cotton briefs at home. Just like you, The Gap has felt the effects of Covid-19. Not only have we had to lay off 10% of our workforce, furlough 80,000 employees, and permanently closed 3,300 stores, but our summer sale has been totally ruined.
2020 didn’t have to be this way. President Trump downplayed the danger of Covid-19 and it has been disastrous. President Trump could have used the Emergency Powers Act to force us to produce masks and allow us to employ thousands of children. Instead, he allowed us to continue making your favorite graphic tees for the upcoming school year.
For over half a century, you have come to us for the latest cost-effective and fashionable clothing. However, this year it’s different. Instead of fighting over the best deals on a nice pair of pants, people are fighting for change. We need a president that will roll up the sleeves of their 100% cotton Henley tee shirt and get to work.
Our endorsement of Vice President Joe Biden is not a denial of his flaws. It is a sign of the importance of the election. What type of customer do you want as your president? Joe Biden may smell your hair while you’re in line, but President Trump will walk into your dressing room.
2020 is a year like no other. Therefore, The Gap must reluctantly ask you to vote for Joe Biden for President.
Sonia Syngal, The Gap CEO
This is not the first reluctant endorsement for Biden. Celebrities, corporations, private organizations, and politicians from across the political spectrum have lined up to hesitantly endorse the former Vice President. Like other high profile endorsements, not everyone is happy with The Gap’s decision.
Business Outsider reporters surveyed Americans across the country to get the raw reactions from the public regarding this historic endorsement.
“They should just stick to jeans and cheap t-shirts! I’m an American and I love Trump! You won’t see me in The Gap anymore…or The Baby Gap! They just lost a valuable customer!”
Susan Pormel, 58, Vermont
“The Gap, which honestly was my idea, selling clothes. I know everything about clothes. Putting them on… Taking them off… if you know what I mean? They are having their best quarter ever. They could have nothing, but I said keep making pants and they said ‘Thank you’.”
Donald Trump 74, District of Columbia