Red Brands and Blue Brands: Is Hyper-Partisanship Coming for Corporate America?


This article is part of our latest DealBook special report on the trends that will shape the coming decades.

The year is 2041, and Starbucks has real competition. Black Rifle Coffee Company, the java brand favored by conservatives, has opened thousands of locations around the country.

Starbucks, whose longtime chief executive Howard Schultz pioneered a new wave of liberal corporate activism in the early part of the century, still dominates the coffee scene in college towns and blue-state urban centers. But Black Rifle Coffee, now publicly traded with a $250 billion valuation, is flourishing in suburbs across the country and in cities large and small across the Deep South and Mountain West.

Online, the partisan rift is equally wide. Facebook has become essentially a one-party site, a forum for conservatives — and occasionally for conspiracy theorists — to discuss the perils of…

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