"Trump's Team Deplorable" store in Webster closes doors days after opening
Webster, N.Y. (WHAM) —
Webster, N.Y. - The Webster store supporting President Trump is no more, just days after opening.
Bruce Ben-Dov said he closed the store for financial reasons.
A number of shoppers stopped by to check out the new place, only to find the door locked.
“They just opened," said Woody, who wouldn't give us his last name. "I figured it’s just going to take a while to build up inventory and customer base, and all that stuff.”
The Trump "Team Deplorable" Community Activity Center sign down.
Inside, only remnants of the t-shirts and hats that used to hang on the walls, shelves and racks.
"It was kind of a big disappointment," said another shopper, Sonny. "'Cause I like Trump, and I wanted a Trump hat. So, here today and gone tomorrow is what it looked like to me."
“I don’t know why," said Kathy Belli, who heard about the store from a friend and wanted to come see what is was all about. "I am very heartbroken that Trump, an America store closed. God Bless America, let freedom ring. I’m sorry this store closed down.”
But the businesses closure didn't come as a surprise for Scott Dennis, who used to rent this same space.
"I looked at it as a scam from the very beginning," said Dennis, the founder and owner of R Salon and Spa. "That this wasn’t going to last for very long, and concerned about the community and people here that might of actually have donated money to that whole thing."
The "Team Deplorable" store owner opened on Tuesday. Then, on Independence Day, he was met with a group of protesters who expressed concern that the store would be divisive, to which he told said, "There's really nothing to be concerned about. I'm here to try to bring people together."
Ben-Dov said his goal was to support the Trump agenda and host discussions and guest speakers. He was seeking to raise $150,000 to help him do that. So why, after only a couple days, end it all?
Over his apartment intercom, the former Desert Storm paratrooper told 13WHAM the big reason he closed was money, saying he couldn't, "comply with all the federal requirements to open a political organization."
His supporters are disappointed.
"Tell him to get his butt down here and open up his store, because I want my hat," Sonny said.
The Village of Webster says Ben-Dove had all the proper permits and certificates to open.
He is also being sued by American Express for nearly $11,000 of debt.