New York - Before her father became president, Ivanka Trump built a successful fashion label selling clothing, shoes, and handbags in hundreds of department stores and boutiques across the country. But this winter, following an acrimonious election and protests against Donald Trump and his policies, Ivanka Trump products started vanishing from such stores as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and ShopStyle.
Anti-Trump activists called for boycotts against anyone who sold Trump family products; Trump supporters called for boycotts against anyone who stopped selling Trump products.
The controversy has left retailers in a peculiar place, and many have remained cagey or simply silent on the matter, hoping to remain apolitical and avoid the fate of Nordstrom, which found itself in the president's crosshairs after ditching the first daughter’s label. None have said they dumped Trump over her family's politics.
So who’s actually selling–or not selling–Ivanka Trump?
Ivanka Tracker (Last updated: April 7)
April 3 - Bed Bath & Beyond: The retailer drops Ivanka Trump diaper bags from its website. The products remain available in some stores.
Feb. 23 - Macy’s: Trans-rights demonstrators march into Macy’s Manhattan flagship to pressure the store into dropping Ivanka Trump’s clothes.
Feb. 13 - Burlington Coat Factory: Ivanka Trump merchandise appears to vanish from Burlington Coat Factory's e-commerce site. The company did not respond to requests for comment.
Feb. 13 – Sears: Sears responds to rumours that it had dropped Trump-branded merchandise from its stores, assuring shoppers that it still sells "hundreds" of Trump and Ivanka Trump products on its website.
Feb. 11 – Nordstrom: Sales of Ivanka Trump products at Nordstrom had fallen 32 percent last fiscal year, according to internal documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal.
Feb. 9 – Belk: Belk says it dropped Ivanka Trump from its online shop and most stores, but still offers the brand in its three flagship locations, according to AL.com.
Feb. 8 – Nordstrom: President Trump lashes out at Nordstrom for dropping Ivanka Trump’s fashion line, calling the decision “terrible” and unfair to his daughter.
Feb. 8 – TJ Maxx: TJ Maxx tells employees to get rid of all Ivanka Trump signage in its stores, according to a report by the New York Times.
Feb. 7 – ShopStyle: Online fashion seller ShopStyle says in a statement that it removed Ivanka Trump’s line from its database because of a “decline in demand,” BuzzFeed reported.
Feb. 6 – Jet.com: Online retailer Jet appears to drop Ivanka Trump’s products from its website, according to a report from Mic.
Feb. 6 – Belk: Ivanka Trump items disappear from Belk’s website, according to Racked. The department store said in a statement that it made adjustments to its assortment “as part of our normal course of business operations.”
Feb. 5 – Macy's: Macy’s falls under increased pressure from customers and employees to stop selling Ivanka Trump products.
Feb 3. – Neiman Marcus: Ivanka Trump jewellery vanishes from the Neiman Marcus website. The company acknowledges in a statement that it has a “very small” Ivanka Trump consignment business that’s assessed by productivity.
Feb. 2 – Nordstrom: Nordstrom confirms that it will stop selling the Ivanka Trump brand, citing poor sales.
Ivanka Trump stepped down from her role as head of her fashion label in January. It’s unclear if she has divested in the company since President Trump took office.
The 35-year-old has played a role in her father’s administration, sitting in on meetings with foreign leaders and advisory councils. Many viewed her as a key surrogate for the Trump campaign, though she has denied playing such a role. Her husband, Jared Kushner, is now a senior adviser to the president and a principal figure in the White House.
Ivanka first ventured into licensed products in 2007 with a collaboration on fine jewellery. In 2011, she launched her eponymous fashion label, adding shoes made by Marc Fisher Footwear in 2011 and a clothing deal with G-III Apparel Group in 2012.
When the elder Trump launched his bid for the White House, Ivanka’s brand had a moment in the spotlight. When she introduced her father at the Republican National Convention wearing a sheath dress from her collection, her brand marketed the piece on social media, drawing criticism.
The scrutiny—and promotion—of Ms. Trump’s brand continued after the election. Last November, after her brand issued a “style alert” press release to tout the gold bracelet she wore during an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes, critics accused her of abusing her family’s position to make money.
Now retailers wary of wading into politics are facing questions about their relationships with the first daughter. Ivanka Trump’s brand and the companies that carry it have drawn the ire of the Grab Your Wallet campaign, a critic of the administration that’s asking shoppers to shun products under the Trump name.
Her line is still sold at Macy’s, Zappos, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale’s and Dillard’s, but some retailers have retreated. Shoes.com dropped her line in November. Then Nordstrom, which was an early supporter of Ivanka Trump’s shoe line, said Feb. 2 it would stop selling the brand, citing poor sales.
Nordstrom's decision got the president’s attention. Donald Trump rebuked the department store chain in a tweet on Feb. 8 for treating his daughter “unfairly.”
Other retailers quietly followed Nordstrom’s example. Products have disappeared from the Neiman Marcus and Jet.com websites. TJX Companies, which owns the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls retail chains, told employees to mix Ivanka Trump goods in with other items, rather than display them separately. Workers were instructed to remove any Ivanka-related signage.
The brand isn’t backing down. According to the company, sales were up 21 percent in 2016, in spite of the liberal outcry against the president and his policies–or perhaps because of it, since the Trump name is now more famous than ever.
Controversy surrounding Trump’s fashion business may not die down soon. Her $100 million apparel line is made abroad in such manufacturing hubs as China, Vietnam, and Indonesia. That conflicts directly with her father’s “America First” rhetoric.
The Trump line is interested in “being a part of the conversation” about increasing US production, President Abigail Klem said in 2016, but that will be a tall order with only 2 percent of apparel sold in the US made domestically.