MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell is a devout supporter of outgoing US president Donald Trump. On right-wing shows and on his social media accounts, he has pushed the baseless claim that Trump actually won the November election and it was stolen from him through fraud. On a Jan. 15 visit to the White House just over a week after the pro-Trump insurrection at the Capitol building, he was photographed carrying notes that referred to invoking martial law if necessary.
His actions have made him a target of Sleeping Giants, a collection of activist social-media accounts that have tried to hobble far-right targets such as publishing outlet Breitbart by pressuring their advertisers. Now, Lindell says, Sleeping Giants is responsible for US retailers dropping MyPillow products. Some of the retailers, however, are giving a more traditional reason: low sales.
“The most evil people on the planet,” Lindell said of Sleeping Giants during a recent interview with Right Side Broadcasting Network, a pro-Trump online news channel. “They’re attacking not only MyPillow, many other companies out there, but they’re attacking my vendors…I just got off the phone with Bed Bath & Beyond. They’re dropping MyPillow. Just got off the phone not five minutes ago. Kohl’s, all these different places.”
Lindell also told a Fox affiliate that Wayfair, an e-commerce retailer, and HEB, a regional grocer, would cease carrying MyPillow items due to pressure online.
A spokesperson for Bed Bath & Beyond confirmed it is dropping MyPillow products, but said the decision was part of an effort to trim underperforming products and brands from its stores as it simplifies its assortment and launches more of its own brands. The company is making its decisions based on data, the spokesperson said, and the MyPillow line is one of the brands that didn’t make the cut.
Kohl’s did not respond to a request for comment, but in a statement to CNBC, it provided a similar rationale. “There has been decreased customer demand for MyPillow,” it said. “We will sell our current inventory and not buy additional/future inventory in the brand.”
In his interview, Lindell alleged the “evil left”—basically communists as he went on to describe it—hire groups such as Sleeping Giants to carry out attacks on US businesses through bots and troll accounts. He suggested the recent actions against his company are in response to proof Lindell claims to have of fraud in the election.
Sleeping Giants did not reply to a request for comment, but in a 2018 interview with the New York Times, Matt Rivitz, who created the social media accounts with Nandini Jammi, characterized the group as an apolitical effort to combat hate speech online. Sleeping Giants has been tagging several large retailers in its tweets about Lindell. “Wonder if @amazon @BedBathBeyond @walmart are going to sell MyPillow after seeing that the CEO is trying to overthrow the government,” it tweeted on Jan. 15 in reference to the photograph of the notes Lindell was carrying. “Seems like that not the best association.”
Lindell said since Jan. 15 his direct sales have increased because customers have rallied behind the company. But he says he told Bed Bath & Beyond he’s happy to welcome them back as partners any time.