Kohl’s donation at the Trump Republican National Convention

A Kohl’s department store sign hangs outside a building on March 12, 2024 in Miami, Florida. Kohl’s shares fell as same-store sales fell in the fourth quarter.

Joe Raedle | beautiful images

Milwaukee-based department store giant Kohl’s said it would not sponsor any related events Republican National Convention in that city this summer, Where is Donald Trump? will be crowned partycandidate for president.

“Kohl’s is not a political organization or sponsor and does not sponsor or participate in any specific RNC event,” a company spokesperson told CNBC. “We support the business community through the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.”

The convention is expected to draw about 50,000 people to Brew City from July 15 to 18, culminating in Trump’s full acceptance of his party’s nomination in the finale.

The announcement comes as both Republicans and Democrats are scrambling secure corporate support for their party conventions at a time when many big-name brands are trying to distance themselves from politics.

Among Wisconsin’s largest companies in the Fortune 500, two leading companies are planning to directly sponsor the conference: Northwestern Mutual and Fiserv. The next two companies, ManpowerGroup and Kohl’s, did not.

ManpowerGroup told CNBC that it is supporting the nonprofit Milwaukee 2024 Host Committee through donations to the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC).

“We did not provide money directly to the RNC, but MMAC provided money on behalf of us and others, just as they did for the DNC. [Democratic National Convention],” One spokesman speak.

On the other hand, Northwestern Mutual is on the hosting committee and its CEO John Schlifske is said to be helping raise money for the group.

Trump narrowly won Wisconsin in his first presidential campaign in 2016. But he lost the state to President Joe Biden in 2020. The state was considered a swing state by both Republicans and Democrats. Must win this November.

According to Federal Election Commission records, Kohl’s has not sponsored Republican or Democratic conventions in more than a decade.

According to FEC records, in 2002, the company donated $10,000 to the Republican National Committee’s state election committee, with the money mainly going to state Republican parties. The state’s late Democratic senator, Herb Kohl, was president of the company his family founded until the late 1970s.

Kohl’s was notably absent from the list of Republican convention sponsors, as convention organizers have publicly praised the importance of Wisconsin-based companies in supporting sponsorship and event organization.

Former Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus, chairman of the city’s homeowners committee, told Wall Street Journal that virtually all of Wisconsin’s Fortune 500 companies have committed to financial support. The Republican Congress is aiming to raise about 70 million USD.

Representatives for the Republican National Committee and host Milwaukee committee did not respond to requests for comment.

Kohl’s decision to postpone its conference donations coincides with the company’s renewed effort to find its footing in a competitive market.

Kohl’s is pursuing a turnaround and trying to capitalize on its position in suburban shopping centers, especially rival Macy’s. Closing about 150 stores of the same name.

However, the company’s sales have been shrinking and it has Relying on an aging customer base as it competes with an ever-expanding field of retail competitors, including Target, Shein and Amazon.

Kohl’s stock more than 20% off earlier this month, after missing Wall Street expectations for earnings and revenue.

It is trying to attract younger shoppers by opening more Sephora stores inside Kohl’s, adding Babies R Us stores and expanding its mix of trendier items, such as pants More fashionable clothes and larger home decoration department.

CNBC’s Melissa Repko contributed to this story.

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