NEW YORK – Nordstrom says it will stop selling Ivanka Trump clothing and accessories, creating some questions about the future of the brand elsewhere.
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The Seattle-based department store chain said the decision was based on the sales performance of the first daughter's brand. Neiman Marcus may be the next one to pull back on the label, as the branded jewelry is nowhere to be seen on the upscale retailer's website as of Friday.
"We've said all along we make buying decisions based on performance," said Nordstrom in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. "We've got thousands of brands — more than 2,000 offered on the site alone. Reviewing their merit and making edits is part of the regular rhythm of our business."
Nordstrom said that each year the chain cuts about 10 percent and refreshes its assortment with about the same amount.
"In this case, based on the brand's performance we've decided not to buy it for this season," Nordstrom added.
Lord & Taylor only said it continues to carry the brand. Neiman Marcus, Macy's and Dillard's, which also carry the label, didn't immediately reply to AP's query.
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The move by Nordstrom Inc. comes amid a social media campaign called "Grab Your Wallet," urging a boycott of stores that stock Ivanka Trump or Donald Trump products.
In a statement emailed to The Associated Press late Friday, Rosemary K. Young, senior director of marketing at Ivanka Trump, said that the brand continues to expand across all categories and distribution, resulting in "significant" revenue growth last year compared to the previous year.
"We believe that the strength of a brand is measured not only by the profits it generates, but the integrity it maintains," said Young in the statement. "The women behind the brand represent a diverse group of professionals and we are proud to say that the Ivanka Trump brand continues to embody the principles upon which it was founded."
An unnamed spokesperson for the brand contradicted Nordstrom's statement, saying that Nordstrom did order both shoes and clothing for spring and moved forward with the purchase of clothing.
Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL Strategic Retail, says that retailers walk a tight rope when it comes to celebrity brands but given the politics surrounding the Ivanka Trump brand, that only adds extra controversy, particularly given such a politically divisive climate. Liebmann noted a decision of whether to pull a brand is politically loaded even if it's based on poor sales performance.
"The brand is vulnerable," Liebmann said. "Retailers view their role as having the right products for the right consumer, not being pulled in a political situation." She noted that some shoppers may not want to wear the Ivanka Trump brand because they may want to avoid making a political statement.
Ivanka Trump announced earlier this month that she would take a leave of absence from her clothing and accessories business as well as the Trump organization.
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