An ethics-breaching endorsement can go a long ways for a brand these days.
According to fashion e-commerce site Lyst, the Ivanka Trump Collection saw a serious boom in orders in February — a 346 percent gain compared with the prior month, to be exact — on the heels of a controversial endorsement from Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump.
On Feb. 9 on Fox News, Conway — in a much-spoofed and-equally criticized plea — encouraged the American public to “go buy” the first daughter’s “stuff.” (Ivanka Trump cut all formal ties with her eponymous fashion brand when she announced in January that she would give up her role running the label to join her father in Washington, D.C.)
Whether there is a direct correlation between Conway’s highly publicized plug — as well as the “Saturday Night Live” digs and furry of media coverage that followed — and the spike in Ivanka Trump brand’s sales will be hard to say with certainty. But according to Lyst, the brand sold the 11th most individual items on the site in February — an astronomical climb from January, when the brand ranked No. 550 in order count.
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What’s more, if you compare this February to the label’s average orders in 2016, the brand sales increased 557 percent.
Lyst noted that it observed similar spikes — although not always as sharp — for the Ivanka Trump collection, as well as other brands on its site, in conjunction with certain events. For example, sales for Ivanka’s line of footwear apparel and accessories on the site saw an 86 percent increase in November during her father’s presidential win.
Lyst’s report follows a study released in February by Slice Intelligence, which observed that online sales for Ivanka’s line dipped 26 percent in January 2017 relative to the same month last year. (Slice Intelligence analyzed data from a panel of 4.4 million online shoppers.)
The company also found that Ivanka’s brand experienced sales declines across all online merchants in the back half of 2016. Specifically, sales declined 31 percent at Amazon, 63 percent at Nordstrom Inc. and 43 percent at Zappos in the fourth quarter of 2016. (Slice measured the data using calendar quarters, not fiscal quarters.)
In February, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus had announced that they were cutting Ivanka’s line from their stores and websites due to poor productivity — and Slice Intelligence’s findings seemed to lend credence to those claims.
Some public speculation had dubbed the department stores’ decisions as politically motivated. President Trump even took to Twitter, slamming Nordstrom for its decision: “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!”
Nordstrom responded to the criticism by reiterating that its decision to drop the brand was due to its dimming sales.
Meanwhile, it became known that off-price retailers TJ Maxx and Marshalls had also joined the fray when an internal memo, which instructed employees to discard Ivanka Trump signage and mix the brand’s wares in with other clothing and accessories, was also leaked in February.
It remains to be seen whether the Ivanka Trump brand will continue to experience such highs and lows in tandem with events in Washington.