retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Procter & Gamble has "vowed to support its employees and vendors impacted by President Trump's 90-day immigration ban targeting seven Middle Eastern and African countries with heavy Muslim populations."

According to the story, P&G said that "an undetermined number of workers will be affected. Some foreign-born employees won't be able to travel abroad. Other employees originating from the seven targeted countries won't be able to fly to Cincinnati or anywhere in the U.S. from overseas markets where they are stationed. P&G officials said the company frequently flies in leaders from around the world to Cincinnati for meetings with top executives or leaders from other divisions. The company said it's still assessing the full impact."

P&G employs 95,000 workers around the world and does business in more than 180 countries.

At the same time, the Enquirer reports that another Cincinnati-based company, Kroger, said that "a tiny fraction of their employees are directly affected by the executive orders but the company is reviewing the full impact."

"We recognize there are a lot of unknowns about how this order will impact associates and their families and communities," said Jessica Adelman, Kroger's group vice president of corporate affairs. "We want all of our associates, customers and communities to know that our fundamental values include diversity, inclusion and respect, and that all people are welcome in our stores and welcome to be a part of our family of companies."

Meanwhile, the Seattle Times reports that Amazon is supporting a lawsuit filed by the Washington state attorney general against the executive order from President Trump that instituted the ban.

Ayesha Blackwell-Hawkins, Amazon’s senior manager for mobility and immigration, said the order “immediately — and negatively — impacted employees, dependents of employees, and candidates for employment with Amazon.” And CEO Jeff Bezos said that the company is "reaching out to congressional leaders to 'explore legislative options,' and is considering 'other legal options as well'."

The Times writes that "Amazon’s move to back the attorney general’s suit came amid widespread backlash in the tech industry against the temporary restriction, which the administration says will protect the U.S. from terrorist infiltration while the government figures out ways to improve vetting of travelers. From Google to Lyft, companies joined the outcry, but Amazon’s response, involving the court system, seemed to go a step further than most."
KC's View:
I think it is safe to assume that this going to continue to be a hairball - a controversy that many companies would prefer had never occurred, and one on which they'd rather not have to take a public position. But that's not the way life has worked out ... and it seems to me that companies are going to find that because of how this controversy affects employees and customers, more and more of them will have to stake out positions.