The Unlikely Winner of the Trump Presidency? Art Supply Stores

Donald Trump says he's good for business. Art supply stores probably agree.

The International Women's Day a Day Without a Woman rally in New York's Washington Square Park. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.
The International Women's Day a Day Without a Woman rally in New York's Washington Square Park. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

Depending on how you see it, there is one silver lining that comes with Donald Trump’s still-nascent presidency: “Setting political views aside, the women’s movement has positively influenced the sales of office supplies,” wrote the market research firm NPD Group in a recent blog post.

Of the estimated 3.3 to 4.6 million protesters who took to the streets around the country on the Women’s March on January 21, many carried handmade signs denouncing the new administration and its policies. But just how much have sales for poster board and other related art supplies gone up since Trump took office?

According to NPD Group, 2.7 million poster and foam boards were sold in the US in the week leading up to the post-Inauguration march. That’s 33 percent more poster board that was sold during the same time period in 2016!

For foam board, sales were up 42 percent.

The Dear Ivanka Trump Moving protest. Courtesy of Dear Ivanka.

The Dear Ivanka Trump Moving protest. Courtesy of Dear Ivanka.

Altogether, a total of $4.1 million in poster and foam board sales were logged in that week alone. For the entire month of January, more than 6.5 million poster boards were sold. Poster-hungry protests continued on International Women’s Day on March 8.

There were also considerable increases in sales of various types of markers and glue/adhesives, as well as scissors and fabric paint, used to personalize t-shirts for the march.

Protesters outside the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Washington, DC, Women's March. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

Protesters outside the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Washington, DC, Women’s March. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

Due to widespread poster-making, some would-be protesters found themselves stymied by poster board shortages in the lead-up to the march. “We were calling around for posters, and everyone was sold out for a five-mile radius,” Courtney Weber, who had a sign making-themed birthday party on January 18, told the New York Times.

Opposition to Trump has inspired many outside the art world to take up marker and board. Additionally, at least one artist has temporarily set aside her usual practice in favor of protest art. “I’ve been making nothing but resistance propaganda since November 9,” Marilyn Minter told artnet News earlier this month.

An actor playing Donald Trump as part of an Alison Jackson performance art piece. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

An actor playing Donald Trump as part of an Alison Jackson performance art piece. Courtesy of Sarah Cascone.

The unexpected boom comes too late for some art supply stores, which have faced a spate of closings recently, including 111-year old New York Central Art Supplies. So if you wanna fight the good fight, maybe consider opening an art store.


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