Although few would argue he doesn't have it coming to him, Donald Trump may be suffering from a bit of piling on these days.
Evidence? Well, there were reports in the New York Daily News (denied by The Donald) about intrafamily squabbles based on his children's embarrassment at some of his antics. In Canada, his Trump International Hotel and Tower is being increasingly surrounded by controversy.
But the biggest target on Trump is being painted these days by department-store shoppers, mostly women. Presumably largely because of Trump's licensing arrangement with Macy's, the retailer's approval rating with women over 18 has plunged dramatically in recent weeks in the YouGov Brand Index — now even falling below that of troubled rival JCPenney, whose problems seem to be operational rather than reputational.
Trump, eager to move on, went on Fox News Monday morning in a bid to clear his name, as he recounted on his Twitter feed today.
Macy's CMO Martine Reardon said last week that Macy's won't drop Trump because the store listens more closely to its shoppers than it does to the media, many of whose members have had it out for Trump for a long time. But now that Macy's shoppers apparently have assessed Trump much more negatively, the chain will be pressed not to address its customers' growing disdain for its relationship with Trump.
As an Obama "birther," as a real estate mogul with Machiavellian tendencies, as host of NBC's hit Apprentice series, and as proprietor of one of the world's most famous heads of hair, Trump has always been out there. But when he became blatantly politically involved on behalf of Republicans over the last couple of years, he clearly ran the risk of alienating about one-half of the American adult population. After teasing with indications he might run for president himself, Trump then endorsed eventual GOP nominee Mitt Romney even during the primaries.
And while he continued to serve as a go-to campaign analyst for Fox News and other conservative media this fall, Trump may have jumped the shark on his career as a political pundit when, not long before the November election, he promised a bombshell announcement — and then proceeded to dare President Obama to produce his college transcripts, whereupon Trump would make a $5-million charitable donation.
Cher and hundreds of thousands of others since have signed on to a "boycott Trump" effort that has focused on Macy's. Now their anger appears to have leached into the shopping public at large. This holiday season, of course, Macy's could have given Trump a lump of coal.