One Year On, America’s Trump Stores Are Still Winning

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In many places in rural America, it seems the 2020 election never ended. “Trump 2020” signs still dot the roadsides, Trump flags still flutter, and Trump hats are still in style.

Unlike previous presidential candidates who disappeared after a lost election, former President Donald Trump is still loved by his supporters.

It’s not just a private sentiment; the market for Trump merchandise is still strong. Across the country, many mom-and-pop stores continue to sell Trump gear of all kinds.

The reasons for Trump’s continued popularity are on full display in Ellijay, Georgia, a small mountain town with a population of 1,736. There, Alicia Dougherty and Jon Lock run Ellijay’s Trump Store.

The store stands at the corner of a red brick strip mall beneath a fabric sign displaying Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump with an American flag. Dougherty said she was somewhat surprised customers still came in months after the election.

“We’re just winging it,” she said. “And we knew the election was going to be a cut-off point. And the inauguration was another cut-off point.”

The Ellijay Trump Store isn’t unusual. Across America, at least 20,000 similar small stores buy and sell Trump apparel, said Ron Solomon, the owner of nationwide Trump apparel company Maga Mall.

Trump Treasures

The walls of the Trump Store are packed with merchandise ranging from locally carved Trump cutting boards and wooden gun cases to Trump shirts, stickers, hats, and flags. The well-arranged displays show passion for Trump, patriotism, and faith.

Two life-sized cardboard cutouts of Trump are popular among customers for photo ops, Dougherty said.

The store boasts visitors from across America, she said. They come from Florida, Maine, California, and everywhere in between.

“People still love Trump,” she said. “Every time someone’s in from out of town, they come in and get stuff for their family to take home.”

Although sales died off somewhat in February, they’ve risen since March, Dougherty said. A normal week nets the Trump Store 200 to 400 customers.

For many people, the store feels like a safe space to talk politics, share news, and spend time together, she said. Some customers spend hours talking with Trump Store employees.

By Jackson Elliott

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