The rocket surgeons who run CarMax, one of the nation’s largest chain of used car lots, think they have a winning sales promotion idea. They believe that an opportunity to buy one of their used cars with a personalized bumper sticker supporting gun control will bring in more customers.
I’ll wait while you stop laughing.
It’s true, though. They put out a press release touting their new sticker promotion in support of their “customers’ passions” . . .
Richmond, VA—In a recent YouGov survey, CarMax Inc. (NYSE: KMX) found that the number one reason people display bumper stickers, decals or magnets on their cars is to make a statement about themselves, their values and interests. Of the respondents who had not displayed a sticker, nearly a quarter said it’s because they hadn’t found one that represents them. With that in mind, CarMax, the nation’s largest retailer of used cars, is giving customers in Chicago, Las Vegas and Phoenix the option to swap out the signature CarMax sticker displayed on the cars they sell and replace it with personalized stickers that reflect causes that customers care about. Timed to celebrate National Philanthropy Day on Friday, Nov. 15, CarMax is also demonstrating the company’s financial support of customers’ passions with a total donation of $300,000 to nonprofit partners…
Three hundred grand? For a company that pulled in over $18 billion in revenue in 2018, that’s spare change. That .0016% of sales ranks as quite a bold demonstration of the company’s philanthropic commitment.
Put another way, if you made $100,000 last year, CarMax’s philanthropy here is the equivalent of a $1.65 donation. My wife spent about twice that on an Egg McMuffin this morning.
The story continues…
Each customer who buys a car from CarMax may choose from a selection of personalized stickers to display on their vehicle in place of the traditional CarMax sticker. Sticker options highlight the company’s support for nonprofit partners in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Phoenix that are involved in the following causes: animal welfare, arts and culture, city engagement, education, food security, LGBTQIA+, outdoor conservation, safe communities, veterans and military families, and youth sports and play.
In addition to local nonprofit partners, CarMax is also supporting national nonprofits KaBOOM!, dedicated to creating more equitable play spaces for all kids, and The Mission Continues, empowering veterans to continue their service, and empowering communities with veteran talent, skills and preparedness to generate visible impact. CarMax is also donating to Everytown for Gun Safety in support of its program Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, an organization committed to fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence.
And among CarMax’s nonprofit “partners:” Everytown for Gun Control. Disarming the law-abiding victims of violent criminals is supposed to “protect people from gun violence?” Is CarMax headquartered in Colorado?
These “public safety measures” espoused by Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown operation might protect some people from gun violence – if the people we’re talking about are the criminals.
The bottom line here: CarMax has chosen to wade into social justice politics in an effort to curry favor from a tiny minority of the market. Their company leadership must not be familiar with the expression, “get woke, go broke.” Let’s see how quickly they’re introduced to the concept.
Meanwhile, Ed Stack from Dick’s Sporting Goods was unavailable for comment.