Uptown residents knock retailer’s connection to Trump


Esther Bell

Uptown resident Jeffrey Littleton started a petition calling for the neighborhood’s new Ross Dress for Less, 918 W. Montrose Ave., to remove Ivanka Trump’s clothing line from its store.

By Caroline Bowen

Ross Dress for Less opened a new location March 4 and became the only store to market merchandise affiliated with President Donald Trump in Uptown, which is considered one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city.

“Of all neighborhoods to sell Trump products, this seems like one of the least responsive to it—the least accepting,” said Jeffrey Littleton, an artist and Uptown resident who started an online petition March 1 to boycott the location at 918 W. Montrose Ave. 

The retail chain is currently on the #GrabYourWallet list of 55 companies boycotted for affiliations with the Trump family’s business ventures, according to the Grab Your Wallet website. 

Littleton said in the past, presidents and their families have remained outside of the commercial and real estate sphere and that should continue with Trump. 

“There is enough power in the presidency to satisfy all you need but [the Trump family] needs more,” he said. 

His petition, which asks for the Ivanka Trump line to be removed from Ross, currently has 111 supporters. He said he wanted to give people a platform outside of voting  and protesting to express their resistance toward Trump. 

“The Trump brand is everything that has been coming out of his mouth for the last year plus,” Littleton said. “A lot of people are signing [the petition] because it’s a way to give a nice, polite middle finger to the president of the United States.” 

Manager of the Uptown Ross store Yirian Perez said she had not heard about the petition before speaking with The Chronicle, adding that she has not received complaints from customers over Trump’s brand being sold there.

“[The petition] it not affecting our store at all,” Perez said.

Ross Corp. did not respond to email requests for a comment as of press time. 

Lucy Diavolo, a musician and writer who lives in Rogers Park, said she walks past Ross regularly, and the store is busy because the public lacks information about Trump’s business entanglements. The president’s sympathy toward corporate America is “terrifying,” she added.

Diavolo said the store is another example of the recent development trends in the North Side. 

“Shiny new stores are an ugly form of development in Uptown, especially when there’s a well-known tent city of homeless people nearby that are regularly being displaced,” Diavolo said. 

Chris Von Zeleny, an Uptown resident and artist at Tattoo Factory, 4441 N. Broadway St., a block away from Ross, said he does not frequent any stores related to Trump. However, many residents in the neighborhood will not care if a dress or shoe tag has Ivanka Trump’s name on it, he added. 

“This neighborhood is more about finding a really good deal, rather than figuring out the brand,” Von Zeleny said. “If it says Ivanka, but it’s 90 percent off, they are going to buy it.” 

Littleton said he ultimately does not care whether people sign the petition, as long as their spending habits mirror their political views about Trump. 

“It is a brand associated with all the ugliness that is out there so we should say something about it.” he said. “If somebody reads it and they don’t sign it, but they don’t shop at Ross because of it, then it was 100 percent successful.”