Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus have announced that they will pull Ivanka Trump-branded items from their shelves, but the retail chains have stopped short of calling it a political decision.
Both companies were subjected to calls for boycott from the organization #GrabYourWallet, which tracks companies that have ties to President Trump’s business interests and encourages consumers not to purchase those goods. PR pros from both chains were quick to release statements saying that the decisions were based on performance, not politics.
A Nordstrom spokesman told reporters:
We’ve said all along we make buying decisions based on performance. 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. Each year we cut about 10 percent and refresh our 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.
Neiman Marcus issued a similar statement:
Neiman Marcus has a very small Ivanka Trump precious jewelry business which is comprised 100 percent of consigned merchandise (merchandise owned by the vendor). Based on productivity we continuously assess whether our brands are carried in stores, on our website, or both.
Ivanka Trump’s merchandise will still be available for some time at Nordstrom because the company had made a recent order, but it does not expect to request additional merchandise.
Trump’s brand issued the following statement to explain its side:
The Ivanka Trump brand continues to expand across categories and distribution with increased customer support, leading us to experience significant year-over-year revenue growth in 2016. We believe that the strength of a brand is measured not only by the profits it generates, but the integrity it maintains. 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. It is a company built to inspire women with solution-oriented offerings, created to celebrate and service the many aspects of their lives.
Though Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom are adamant that their decisions were based on performance, Macy’s is facing increasing pressure from consumers to drop Ivanka Trump’s line as well.
The retailer has not officially said whether it plans to drop the Trump brand, but it has heavily discounted many of its items on the Macy’s website, Business Insider reported. Macy’s is currently one of Grab Your Wallet’s main targets.
How would you advise these retailers to handle the situation, Ragan readers?