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TheStreet) -- Would you buy a pair of flip flops that have either President Barack Obama or Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney, or both, pictured on them?
Taking advantage of the election season as a time when consumers' political affiliations run deep,
Flip Flop Shops launched on Monday a limited edition line of flip flops featuring Obama and Romney.
The flip flops will be sold at Flip Flop Shops locations and online from Sept. 15 through the election. The price is $25 per pair.
The flip flops "don the faces of both political candidates and seek to make light of their propensity to flip-flop on major issues," the company stated in a press release.
"The national debt has 13 zeros behind it and we have two candidates that can't take a firm stance on political issues -- what better way to address both problems than with some flip flops," CEO Darin Kraetsch says in the release. "We're not unilaterally going after either party or candidate. We're simply calling awareness to these issues in a bipartisan, nonpartisan and non-party affiliated method."
The company will also use the sales of each pair as an informal poll on predicting the next president. Each week Flip Flop Shops will report a poll on the company's
Facebook page, which will show the leading candidate based on purchases. In addition to the polling, for every pair of political flip flops sold, Flip Flop Shops will also donate $1 to the U.S. Treasury, the company says.
"This is a fun way to call attention to the fact that both these candidates go back and forth on major issues," said Brian Curin, Flip Flop Shops' president. "We're also helping lower the national debt -- if the government can't do it, at least Flip Flop Shops can help."
You'd be surprised by how many political junkies might actually say yes to digging their toes into these election season flip flops.
Supporters at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions displayed a willingness to drop wads of cash to show off their support of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
Vendors in Tampa and Charlotte lined the streets to sell buttons, t-shirts and other trinkets to delegates, while the campaigns offered official gear inside the arenas where politicians pitched party platforms to voters.
In Tampa, for example, Mitt Romney gear ranged from items that cost as little as $5 and as much as $40. Romney-themed iPhone cases made by
Case Mate ran delegates $40 a piece, while campaign beach towels cost $25. A side note: all campaign gear was made in the United States. Mugs, tumblers, hats, lapel pins and, yes, even slap bracelets littered the conventions and helped to make small fundraising gains for the candidates and their parties. One Romney supporter on Aug. 29 was found purchasing $27-worth of assorted Mitt Romney pins.
President Obama had similar gear sold at his party's convention in Charlotte, where independent vendors were more visible to attendees last week. Just outside the Charlotte Convention Center, a row of vendors sold homemade t-shirts and pins to passersby. On Labor Day, the city set up a massive street fair open to the public. In the fair, dozens of local artists, food vendors and boutiques offered political products.
One artist, Omari Spann,
sold charcoal and pencil drawings
of President Obama. Spann said that he sold similar portraits of the president on inauguration day in Washington in 2009, when he said he sold about $6,000 worth of drawings in six hours in 11-degree weather.
Flip Flop Shops has roughly 60 stores open between the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean, with 100 more in development. The company started in 2004 and began franchising in 2008, after Kraetsch and Curin, former executives at Cold Stone Creamery and Moe's Southwest Grill, came on board.
-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski and Joseph Deaux in New YorkFollow @LKulikowskiFollow @JoeDeaux
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