A supporter of President Donald Trump recently opened a “MAGA Store” in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area to sell Trump-themed merchandise ahead of the 2020 election.
Gary Middleton, a Grand Rapids-area native who opened the store a couple of weeks before Christmas, told MLive that “business is awesome.”
“I didn’t expect this sort of response so quickly,” he said. “It’s nice to see that there is support in West Michigan for President Trump.”
A few similar pop-up shops opened up around Michigan ahead of the Christmas holiday, but Middleton’s store will remain open until at least the election.
Michigan Trump Republicans, a political action committee, opened a “Mid-Michigan Trump Christmas Shoppe” in Saginaw County in early December for locals to purchase Trump-inspired Christmas gifts.
The Michigan Conservative Coalition stocked another store in Walled Lake, Michigan full of “all your favorite Trump presents.”
The trend isn’t confined to Michigan, though. According to Breitbart, a Trump fan in Bellingham, Massachusetts has launched a chain of Trump novelty stores across the state and plans to donate a portion of the proceeds to the president’s reelection campaign.
Middleton said his Grand Rapids Trump store hasn’t faced any protests yet, but he expects a demonstration at some point as word begins to spread.
“We have not had any protests yet. I fully anticipate them but, like I said before, First Amendment rights. I’m exercising mine and they’re more than welcome to exercise theirs. I just hope they keep it peaceful,” he said.
Middleton said he picks up his merchandise “wherever [he] can find it” and has even designed some of his own products to sell, including an “All Aboard the Trump Train 2020” t-shirt. Other items include a “Drain the Swamp” shirt, free copies of the Constitution, and Trump-themed playing cards, golf balls, beer koozies, bumper stickers, and magnets.
“We need to get t-shirts. We need to get hats. We need to get anything we can to support our candidate for president in 2020,” said Middleton, who wasn’t sure how legal the operation is, but noted that the products are “available pretty much everywhere.”
“So I would imagine that if there is, I’ll probably be a part of a class action lawsuit against me, but I can’t imagine that President Trump would want to stop anybody from promoting him for this upcoming election,” he said.
Middleton’s MAGA Store is generally open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is located at 4492 Plainfield Avenue, Northeast in Grand Rapids.
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