By Joseph N. Manago
The decision by R. H. Macy’s to phase out the Trump menswear collection in their effort to be politically correct in response to Donald Trump’s remarks about illegal Mexican immigration needs to be balanced by a couple of other facts in Macy’s history.
First, Isidore Strauss (1845-1912) and his brother, Nathan, became partners in Macy’s in 1874, and sole owners in 1887. During the American Civil War, Isidore Strauss worked for a London-based Confederate agent as a Confederate bond salesman in London and Amsterdam, as he was a legal resident in the state of Georgia until 1865 when he returned from Europe to New York. Second, Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr. financed Allied Stores Corporation’s acquisition of Federated Department Stores, the holding company and owner of Macy’s, with $500 million in 1990. Then Federated filed for bankruptcy and defaulted on the repayment of the DeBartolo loans, eventually to emerge as Macy’s, Inc.
So, who is Macy’s to be playing Goody Two Shows in their disrespect of Mr. Trump and his right to his political opinions in view of his quest for the Republican Party line in the presidential election of 2016?
Now, this commentator offers an opinion from the horse’s mouth, since my late father, Joseph V. Manago, was an assistant manager, Coins & Stamps, at Abraham & Strauss’ flagship Brooklyn store, another department store co-owned by the Strauss family since 1893.
There would be no retail giant Macy’s today had it not been for the Confederate Isidore Strauss’ superb business initiatives and for the multimillion-dollar loan of the business giant, Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr., recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in Economics (1988). Should we boycott Macy’s in support of Donald Trump?
Joseph N. Manago