Yet another department store has removed Ivanka Trump's clothing line from its shelves — but the presidential adviser's company isn't necessarily doomed. The brand began disappearing from stores days after her father won the presidency, which has raised questions about the viability of the Ivanka Trump brand. The ongoing political backlashis only one side of the story, though, according to marketing experts.
Update: On July 24, the Ivanka Trump company announced that it's closing down. "After 17 months in Washington, I do not know when or if I will ever return to the business, but I do know that my focus for the foreseeable future will be the work I am doing here in Washington,” Ivanka said in a statement. “So making this decision now is the only fair outcome for my team and partners."
Earlier: "For those that hate the president, her brand is a horrifying, repulsive artifact of what he represents," Eric Schiffer, a brand and marketing expert and CEO of Reputation Management Consultants, tells Bustle. "For those that are neutral politically but fascinated by the presidency, I think the Ivanka Trump brand benefits. So it’s been a fascinating couple of years to watch the way in which the impact is cut in both directions."
The #GrabYourWallet campaign continues to publicly call out retailers who stock Ivanka Trump products. But Schiffer notes that the first daughter and presidential adviser also has a massive platform where she can showcase her clothing, shoes, and jewelry while traveling with the president. Photos of her outfits frequently appear alongside news articles, in fashion magazines, and on social media (not to mention her own Instagram account).
"That’s a tremendous opportunity to influence fashion purchasers," he says. "So she benefits from just the power of sheer numbers, and that’s not to be understated."
While retailers such as T.J. Maxx and Marshall's, both owned by parent company TJX Cos., have merely moved Ivanka's brand to less prominent displays, many others have removed her products entirely. Most of those retailers attributed the move to the brand's decreasing performance, as a post-election boom was followed by slowing sales beginning in 2017. Sales in August 2017 were down negative one percent compared to the previous August, Racked reported.
A spokesperson for the Ivanka Trump brand says in an emailed statement that the decision from Hudson's Bay, the most recent company to stop stocking its products, can be attributed to a retail landscape that is "causing more and more brands to focus their efforts on e-commerce." The Ivanka Trump brand began selling its products online in April, and its clothing is still for sale at some major retailers.
Nevertheless, the number of companies choosing to remove the product from either their brick-and-mortar or online shelves continues to grow.