A pedestrian walks by the closed GAP flagship store on August 18, 2020 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
The retailer later removed the photo, which sparked a flurry of outrage across social media, with some Twitter users calling the post “ugly” and “poorly timed.” It was viewed more than 800,000 times.
The caption of the half-blue, half-red hoodie animation read: “The one thing we know, is that together, we can move forward.” When the animated image played, it showed the sweatshirt being zipped up.
Source: CNBC, Megan Graham
A spokeswoman for Gap told CNBC in an emailed statement: “The intention of our social media post, that featured a red and blue hoodie, was to show the power of unity. It was just too soon for this message. We remain optimistic that our country will come together to drive positive change for all.”
Model and food-blogger Chrissy Teigen responded to the now-deleted Tweet: “yay we can just walk sideways depending on the city we’re in.”
Others Twitter users chimed in, as well.
Some in defense of Gap.
The viral post will likely encourage other businesses to be cautious with their messaging this week, and in the following weeks, as many Americans remain on edge over the election.
The pending results mean there are likely more consumers who are distracted from shopping while they await the outcome of the election, analysts and industry experts tell CNBC. Retailers would rather shoppers be centered around gift giving and decking their homes with holiday decor, as the winter holidays near.