Last night, a reporter for the Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune photographed a surprising sign in the window of the Men’s Wearhouse Oakland store:
The sign reads “We stand with the 99%. Closed Wednesday November 2.”
That’s the day the Occupy Wall Street movement in Oakland called for a general strike.
Men’s Wearhouse is a publicly traded corporation (MW on the New York Stock Exchange) that takes in over $2 billion a year selling suits, with a net profit of over $67 million last year. So a company that caters to capitalists and businessmen chose to strike against its customers in support of the socialist, communist, anarchist movement that has violently clashed with police in Oakland and has had scores of reports of degenerate behavior across the country, ranging from numerous rapes to defecating on a police car.
The photo of the closed sign was tweeted last night, but nearly 24 hours later, Men’s Wearhouse has still not made a response to the numerous tweets sent to them. (The @Mens_Wearhouse twitter account says that it is staffed by four people. Surely one of them took notice of the hoopla their Oakland store had created.)
I contacted the corporate headquarters by email and phone to get an official response, and to learn how the store closing came about. However, I received no reply to my multiple inquiries.
Men’s Wearhouse does not have franchises. The Oakland store is corporate-owned. No one answered the phone at the Oakland store (store ID 2169, to the best of my knowledge) during business hours to give their side to the story either.
Regarding the strike itself, many businesses fear the damage the protests have done and could do to their businesses. According to the Oakland Tribune’s “Oakland businesses brace for general strike by Occupy demonstrators“:
The Oakland Chamber of Commerce raised alarms about the continued economic impact.
“There are a number of negative ramifications from these protests,” said Paul Junge, director of public policy with the chamber. “A number of local businesses are seeing sales drop off dramatically.”
The Fountain Cafe, in the Oakland City Center complex downtown, is among those that have already felt the bite of Occupy Oakland.
“The protests have hurt our business,” said Elias Salameh, owner of Fountain Cafe. “If it goes on any longer, I’m sure it will hurt more.”
Robert Guevera, manager of La Salsa in Oakland City Center, echoed him, saying, “We don’t know if we’re going to stay open. This is affecting our business.”
An Occupy Oakland representative, Tim Simons, said major corporations are the primary focus.
“This movement has never targeted small businesses,” he said. “It has always been explicitly against the largest corporations and banks.”
Simons conceded that some restaurants may have suffered a decline in business. But he argued that the effects aren’t monolithic.
“There are numerous businesses in downtown Oakland around the occupation,” Simons said. “Some are doing the best business they have ever done.”
It’s highly doubtful that Occupy Oakland’s hippie protesters have caused Men’s Wearhouse’s business to boom. Yet, these are the people with whom Men’s Wearhouse has chosen to stand, in opposition to their customers. On the bright side, should riots break out, the store won’t have to fear looting from the hippies and hipsters.
Note that this is not the first time that Men’s Wearhouse has, as a corporation, supported left-leaning politics. In 2009, the company removed its ads from the Glenn Beck show on Fox News.
Perhaps Men’s Wearhouse would be more comfortable selling tie-dyed t-shirts and Nehru jackets, because those Occupiers throwing rocks and bottles at the Oakland police weren’t wearing their product.
Men’s Wearhouse has now released a statement on their Facebook page. It reads in full:
We closed our store near Oakland City Hall today, for one day, to express the company’s concern for the issue of wealth disparity in our country. The issue affects our employees and customers across the political spectrum.
Michelle Malkin has up-to-date reports on the violence occurring this evening in the strike that Men’s Wearhouse is publicly standing behind. Her post: “Live from Occupy Oakland: Window smashing, vandalism, and more; charter buses to port, Teamsters in the house; port shut down, trucks overrun.” I can guarantee you are NOT going to like the way it looks.
Men’s Wearhouse CEO George Zimmer is a confirmed liberal, putting his money where his mouth is. Since 1989, according to the website Newsmeat.com, he has made $304,000 in political contributions. $1,500 of it (less than 0.5%) went to Republicans.
(h/t Nathan Wurtzel)
An Insta-lanche!! Thanks, Professor, for the link! Welcome to Glenn Reynolds’ readers.
Soopermexican had the brilliant idea to have people tweet him photos of their cut-up Perfect Fit cards from Men’s Wearhouse, like this one:
He is posting a collection of them here.
Welcome to readers/listeners of DaTechBlog!
HotAir also joins the reporting of Men’s Wearhouse siding with the flag-burning, window-smashing hoodlums, as Ed Morrissey waxes poetic….quoting Kipling.
Welcome readers of The Conservative Commune!
RB of The Right Sphere reports that Men’s Wearhouse’s siding with the hippies, communists and anarchists of Occupy Wall Street and OccupyOakland didn’t save them from having their window smashed as their non-suit-wearing friends rioted on Wednesday night.
@PoliticalMath tweets with the picture: “Huh. Men’s Wearhouse took down the ‘We are the 99%’ sign.” I presume it was a joke to get people to look at the photo, but he has a point. Why would they take down the sign, when leaving it up would have shown their continued solidarity with rioting anti-capitalists?
Perhaps Men’s Wearhouse didn’t want to shame its uncouth, uncivilized comrades. Perhaps it wants to act as if it never cast its lot with the barbarians. Those people are gonna need a lot more than a new suit to take their place in polite society.
“We had people who were attempted to break into our building,” the landmark Rotunda Building on Frank Ogawa Plaza outside City Hall, Tagami said today. He grabbed a shotgun that he usually keeps at home, went down to the ground floor and “discouraged them,” he said.
No police were in sight, he said.
“Basically, people were pushing to get through the door,” he said. “I was standing there and they saw me there, and I lifted it – I didn’t point it – I just held it in my hands. And I just racked it, and they ran.”
Although they didn’t get inside the building – Tagami oversaw its $50 million renovation and has an office there – vandals did scrawl graffiti on the outside walls during the post-midnight riot that broke out after Occupy Oakland’s daylong general strike.
The Rotunda Building was far from the only victim. Graffiti was spray-painted on many buildings along Broadway from 14th to 16th streets, where masked vandals shattered windows, started fires and threw objects at police.
To steal a bit more from Political Math, he tweets: “If this is Krugman’s army, think of all the jobs they’re creating w/ all those broken windows!” So true. Think of all the Men’s Wearhouse suits that will now be able to be purchased due to the repair of that broken window. Oh, wait, no. Proper, non-Keynesian economics proves that broken window will reduce the number of suits that con now be purchased. Confused? This short little economic cartoon will enlighten you while entertaining you:
Pop Quiz! What item did the baker say he would have spent his money on if he didn’t have to waste it repairing his window? Oh, the irony of this pre-Occupy Oakland video tutorial!
P.S. Welcome to Lonely Conservative readers!