Costco has pulled Palmetto Cheese, a brand of pimento cheese, from 120 of its stores. The decision came after the owner of Palmetto Cheese, Brian Henry, called the Black Lives Matter and Antifa movements terrorist organizations in a Facebook post on August 25.
The post, which has since been deleted, stated:
“I am sickened by the senseless killings in Georgetown last night. 2 [sic] innocent people murdered. Not 2 thugs or people wanted on multiple warrants. 2 white people defenselessly gunned down by a black man. So why do we stand by and allow BLM to lawlessly destroy great American cities and threaten their citizens on a daily basis … This has gone on too long. Rise up America. This BLM and Antifa movement must be treated like the terror organizations they are.”
Henry issued an apology on September 3 where he called his own comments “hurtful and insensitive.”
“I spent that past 10 days listening and learning,” he said at a press conference. “The conversations I’ve had with friends, our staff, the community and faith-based leaders provided me with a deeper understanding of racial inequality and the importance of diversity sensitivity, which is very much needed to heal Pawleys Island, Georgetown, and our country.”
Social media reaction to Costco’s decision
In light of Henry’s post, many shoppers took to social media to demand Costco and other stores stop stocking the cheese. After the store appeared to react by pulling the product, some customers applauded.
Others objected and some threatened to boycott Costco for pulling Palmetto Cheese.
Costco did not respond when asked about the decision to pull Palmetto from its stores. However, a picture obtained by the The Post and Courier shows a sign at Costco which says Palmetto cheese is “discontinued” and “will not be reordered.”
Henry confirmed to the paper that Costco was no longer ordering Palmetto Cheese but added that the store often rotates product and “we remain optimistic that Palmetto Cheese will be back on the shelves in the not too distant future.”
Shopping decisions have become increasingly politicized
In general, consumers have been more thoughtful, and even political, about where they spend their money. After the CEO of Goya praised President Donald Trump at the White House, consumers called for a boycott of the brand. A similar call to action was issued after the co-founder of Home Depot Bernie Marcus expressed support for re-electing President Donald Trump.
This is not the first time this year that some shoppers have said they were ready to boycott Costco specifically, either. The retail giant was one of the first chains to require shoppers to wear masks, which resulted in a similarly loud resistance from some quarters and a call to cancel memberships.
Despite that firestorm, Costco did not experience a dip in sales. In fact, U.S. net sales increased 12.5% for the quarter, according to the store’s latest earnings report.
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