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Occupy Men's Wearhouse

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:

Photo by Matt O'Brien (@mattoyeah)

 

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.

UPDATE:

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.

UPDATE:
Thanks for the links!
ResistTyranny (h/t for alerting me to the story)
SooperMexican.com (h/t the Glenn Beck angle)

UPDATE:
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.

UPDATE:
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)

UPDATE:
An Insta-lanche!! Thanks, Professor, for the link! Welcome to Glenn Reynolds’ readers.

UPDATE:
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.

UPDATE:
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.

UPDATE:
Welcome readers of The Conservative Commune!

UPDATE:

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.

Greg Pollowitz notes the coverage of the nightmarish scenes of destruction in the San Francisco Chronicle, which pins the blame squarely on the protesters.

An excerpt:

“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!

30 comments to Occupy Men’s Wearhouse—UPDATED with Riot Aftermath

  • [...] blogger, Prudence Paine, reports that she tried to reach a PR representative at Men’s Wearhouse, but after contacting them by email and phone, they did not respond as of [...]

  • Ozzy Osbourne

    They can side with the ’99%’ all they want but do you really think any of those hippies and dope smokers will buy clothes that look like that?

  • MaxD

    Men’s Wearhouse’s action, as a publicly traded company, pure crap.

    In that regard, indistinguishable from their wares.

  • As a 1%’er (barely), I find the OWS extremely offensive, a foul-smelling collection of randy radicals imbibing free food while whining about all the homeless invaders taking only what the 99% would call a fair share. I’ve spent thousands of dollars over the years at the Warehouse, but no longer; there are plenty of other options.

  • Tortillapete

    Never shopped in that ghetto store and never will – I guarantee it…

  • Multitude

    Wish we would have known of the company’s association with Marxist radicals. Paying $900 with their firm last week to outfit my son for his West Point interviews, I would have either shopped elsewhere or walked out with a couple of grand of clothing without paying. I’m quite certain that MW’s management earns far more than my wife and I combined, constituting the 1%, and in solidarity with the 99%, it’s only fitting that we take what we want.

    I will return to our Omaha store this next week with the receipt to demand a refund without presentation of merchandise. Should they decline, we’ll know for certain they’re a bunch of rich fatcats who are just trying to co-opt the message of the 99% for further enrichment.

    • Nathan

      Actually your just taking money of out of the innocent sales persons pocket who has nothing to do with the situation. sales ppl only make 30,000 a year if that..

  • comatus

    Let’s not be hasty. Brooks Bros and the Jos A Banks organisation have not yet weighed in. Perhaps all haberdashers feel nostalgia for Paris 1968.

    They’re not going to like the way this looks. I guarantee it. Alterations will be necessary.

    Vagaries of history: more committed reds in the storefront than in the Vietnamese sweatshop where their suits are sewn. Pressing, mangled irony, off the cuff, it would seam.

  • JWnTX

    Guess Zimmer’s falls on the self-hating side of the Jewish spectrum…

    Waiting to hear of him offering free suits to the protesters in their search for jobs (oh, that’s right…they don’t want jobs). My dad always hated folks like Seinfeld and Zimmer–now I know why.

  • Tblakely

    I wonder what the wealth disparity is between CEO George Zimmer and his employees?

  • Mike James

    Nothing but a transparent, crummy little try at avoiding having their plate glass shattered during a riot.

  • I’m here via Instapundit.
    I can understand the merchants trying to protect their property given how OPD is not available. It’s not like violence never happens there.
    Zimmerman is a major Chabad donor, btw.

  • factor

    http://people.forbes.com/profile/george-zimmer/78920

    Looks like Mr. Zimmer is the 1%

    At least $1.4M in 2009. And I think about $1.9M.

  • TMAN1966

    I would strongly suggest contacting Men’s Wearhouse through their website and let them know what you think of this action. And whether or not you’ll be buying anything from them in the future.

  • I contacted men’s Wearhouse when I first posted about it here, never heard a direct response, now I know why.

    http://datechguyblog.com/2011/11/02/mens-warehouse-is-going-to-hate-the-way-this-photo-plays/

    they are not going to like the national response.

    I guarantee it.

  • [...] Both the Atlantic and Prudence Payne Papers who got an Instalanche (conrats) The Atlantic reports that this is consistent with the CEO’s [...]

  • P. Aaron

    Sometimes I need a suit & Men’s Wearhouse has been a fine place to go. Seeing& reading this is just another one of those things I wish I did not know. Now, I am re-thinking shopping there. I don’t care where Zimmer donates, or his politics. I just wish he’d do it and keep it confidential. That’s good business.

  • Lester

    1) so Zimmer is fine with anti-semitism.

    2) if Zimmer wants to share the wealth why does he not start by handing out stacks of hundreds at OWS.

    Hypocrite.

  • Diggs

    Men’s Wearhouse is a store that I had gone to occasionally (for the occasional “occasion” where I needed a tux and didn’t want to wear my dress blues). I’d hardly be called a regular customer. But we conservatives have got to start showing solidarity with businesses that share our values, and start taking money out of the pockets of businesses that don’t share our values. Apparently Zimmer likes the money we conservatives bring his business (maybe he should start selling those moronic Guy Fawkes masks), but then he turns around and sends that money off to help promote Democrats who would rather see us conservatives burn. So from now on, when I hear of these places, thats’ it. I’m going somewhere else. I’ve no reason to help so big Lefty support those policies and politicians that are trying to hurt my kids.

  • [...] the annals of dumb business decisions, this has to be one of the dumbest ever. PruPaine examines the story from all the relevant angles, including the company’s being publicly traded, its investiture [...]

  • nichole

    Rather than assuming a Jew is cool with anti-semitism, wouldn’t it be more reasonable to question how anti-semitic OWS actually is? It seems safe to assume Mr. Zimmer doesn’t think they are. I know they’ve gotten a tarring in the media, but it’s a lot of people and it isn’t unreasonable to think there might be some nutters/opportunists in the mix.

  • [...] as it is the company owners believe they’re fellow travelers, even though the owners have made a killing catering to capitalists. [...]

  • S.Lynn

    Thank God my husband wears jeans and boots to work. I’d have to steer him clear of this jokers whorehouse of mens clothing. None of our conservative bux will line his pockets.

  • el polacko

    many businesses in downtown oakland and elsewhere around the city posted signs of ‘support’ and closed in order to protect both their property and their employees..sadly, the intimidation from the demonstrators worked. whole foods grocery dared to stay open for business and was attacked by vandals. men’s wearhouse did end up with a broken window in the late-night melee but i can take no pleasure in that nor can i blame the store for doing what it saw as an act of self-preservation.

  • [...] because most of my professional wardrobe was purchased at Mens Wearhouse. However, after reading this, I’m willing to look for another clothing store: Last night, a reporter for the Contra Costa [...]

  • [...] it no longer supported the movement? That’s unlikely.Probably the best explanation is by The Prudence Paine Papers: Why would they take down the sign, when leaving it up would have shown their continued solidarity [...]

  • robert

    Wow, can the author be any more biased? As an American do you enjoy sitting here on your pulpit calling people names? Might want to find the group in your town. These are not ‘hipsters’ or ‘hippies’ or any of the other names you’ve stooped so low to use in referring to other American citizens. These are small business owners, moms, factory workers, teachers, college students, retirees and war veterans.

    Why don’t you try stepping down off that high horse and realize you’re taking about the working class that makes this country function at all. You would also have to be a complete idiot if you didn’t think people who are not there as part of the movement but to disrupt either of their own accord are being sent there by those powers that be and will do anything they can think of to cause problems. I’ve seen the local group and not a single solitary issue. Most around the country are the same way. Kinda ironic that the issues happen in the two locations you would expect high levels of publicity. If you don’t think protecting trillions of dollars in profits can’t get some trouble hired – think again.

    Now if you’d take your high and mighty Conservative name calling crap, grab your guns and go to a Tea Party rally waving them about (which clearly isn’t violent for some reaon) the world would be a much better place.

  • [...] updates about the Men’s Wearhouse support for our movement can be found on the SooperMexican, The Prudence Paine Papers, Resist Tyranny, Hyscience and [...]

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