Those pop-up Trump shops? Some are rebranding as anti-Biden stores

The popularity of a viral chant is changing how some entrepreneurs hawk political merchandise

With former President Donald Trump no longer in office and remaining coy about his political plans, the future of Trump merchandise pop-up stores that emerged during the 2020 campaign has been uncertain.

But a slogan deriding President Joe Biden has shown the way forward for these merchants, for better or worse.

As reported, one New England entrepreneur has rebranded some of his Trump stores as “Let’s Go Brandon” stores. Keith Lambert, owner of a Rhode Island-based novelty business, had operated as many as 22 shops that sold Trump merchandise last year.

Business had slowed, but not completely disappeared, after Trump left the White House, Lambert said in September. Already he was selling anti-Biden merchandise, such as shirts and signs that said “Joe Biden is not my president” and other merchandise that contained profanity.

Then Trump supporters seized onto “Let’s Go Brandon” as a synonym for a vulgar phrase people were chanting at a NASCAR race in October. Within weeks, the phrase had been used by members of Congress and made it to the spectator seats of a BYU game.

Even without profanity, the phrase doesn’t belong in the Capitol building or at LaVell Edwards Stadium, and other places where the highest moral standards should be upheld. But for anyone who has driven past a profanity-laced Biden sign in a front yard, or seen the original insult on a bumper sticker, “Let’s Go Brandon” is at least an improvement, so long as we don’t have to explain to our children what it means.

‘Let’s go Brandon’ chants don’t belong at BYU games

And lest anyone accuse Republicans of being the party of profanity, NPR recently reminded us that many Democrats directed a similar profanity at Trump and sold merchandise denigrating the 45th president. “There’s a lot of money to be made for people who are seizing the moment and selling,” researcher Hampton Stall told NPR.

It’s unclear whether “Let’s Go Brandon” is a fad that will wane in the new year. But the rebranded shops may be renamed yet again if Trump makes it official that he’s running again. There’s already a shirt for that: “Trump 2024: I’ll Be Back!”

What the continuing demand for Trump merchandise reveals about the 2024 election