Levi Strauss: Another Company With its Head in the Sand

   12.02.16

Levi Strauss: Another Company With its Head in the Sand

you shouldn’t have to be concerned about your safety while shopping for clothes or trying on a pair of jeans

Chip Bergh, President and Chief Executive Officer, Levi Strauss & Co., is one-hundred percent correct about this. Ideally you “shouldn’t” have to be concerned. Reality dictates otherwise.

We don’t live in magical, rainbow-land with cupcakes and flowers for everyone. We live in a place where some individuals want to take what others have by force. We live in a place where having ideas contrary to others is a death sentence. We live in a place where groups you choose to support put a target on you. We live in a place where the only person responsible for your safety and security is, well, you.

When a business comes out and says that they don’t care about your safety (using language that says they want to “ensure a safe environment”) and security. Not only do they verbally limit your ability to manage your responsibility, but they also don’t provide appropriate mitigation (by providing security for your safety). They are asking you to choose. Do you shirk your responsibility to comply because their goods or services are worthy of that risk? Do you protest the request (and potentially break local laws and ordinances)? Do you boycott the business (which is meaningless if you don’t inform the business of the reason)? Ultimately it is your choice to decide how you will mitigate risk in your life.

Personally I believe that it is foolish, as a business, to alienate your customer base for whatever the reason. Maybe you don’t like their sexual orientation. Maybe you don’t like their politics. If you are in a “for profit” business, your purpose is to make money. Period. You can delude yourself about your purpose, but the point of a business is to profit from the sale of goods and/or services. Businesses coming out and publicly expressing support for (or against) the current hot topics pushed by the media are just doing themselves a disservice.

Feel free to google and see what happens to businesses that say “nope” to a large and vocal group of potential customers/supporters. Ask the NFL. Ask Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood. Ask 1st In SEO in Albuquerque. There are ways to opt out of working with customers that won’t damage your business.

No, Levi Strauss, you are wrong about how to provide a safe environment for your workers and customers, and have, in fact, just done the opposite. However, I do respect your position and will not support your business.

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