BAGLEY, Minn. — Most business owners don't want to see red, but that's not the case for one shop in northern Minnesota.

As cars drive through Bagley on Highway 2, there is a new business catching the eyes of drivers: a "Trump" store.

The store is called the Trump Shop of Bagley. The store carries shirts, flags, shot glasses, pins and bumper stickers. They even have stuff for newborns.

"When you are a strong supporter of Trump, you want to have access to get whatever you can to get the name out that we need to keep him in the White House," said Erskine resident Jean Rock.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

These pop-up Trump shops started dotting main streets during the last election cycle. They're owned by Trump supporter and entrepreneur Derek Allen, who is from the Twin Cities area.

It was a "truck and a dream on side of the road and turned it into stores," explained store manager Calvin Pletsch.

That is how Bagley's shop became one of 30 stores across Minnesota and 50 across the country, including in North Dakota. It started as a truck, and has now moved inside a vacant building. The store averages about 700 customers a week.

"I was only supposed to be up here for a weekend gig, and I haven't left for two months now," Pletsch said.

University of North Dakota Political Scientist Bo Wood said while past presidents like Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan had strong marketability, the country has never seen anything like Trump. He compared it to the Vikings-Packers rivalry.

"Part of the president's appeal for the people in his base is because of the animosity that his opponents have for him," Wood explained. "He is so polarizing that it's a way to kind of stick to the people you disagree with by displaying Trump paraphernalia."

These stores could play a key role in the upcoming election. Minnesota is considered one of 10 battleground states, and the only one Trump lost in 2016 by just a percentage point. Minnesota has not voted Republican in the presidential election since 1972.

"One shirt, one hat a time to flip the state red," Pletsch said.

The shop is looking to cash in this weekend. It's just 20 minutes from the Bemidji Regional Airport, where Trump will hold a campaign rally the night of Friday, Sept. 18.