A new study is lending credence to several retailers’ claims that they dropped Ivanka Trump’s line last week due to poor sales.
According to market research firm Slice Intelligence, online sales for the first daughter’s line of apparel, accessories and shoes 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.)
What’s more, the company 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.)
Last week, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus announced that they were cutting Ivanka’s line from their stores and websites due to poor productivity. However, public speculation dubbed the move a political one. President Donald Trump even took to Twitter on Wednesday, 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!”
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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 this week 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 leaked.
Whether politics played a direct or indirect role in either retailers’ decision may still be up for debate, but Slice Intelligence said some of its data suggests a correlation between Ivanka’s involvement in her father’s election campaign and her eponymous brand’s overall performance.
Slice researchers said they saw a spike in sales on the Nordstrom website in July 2016, presumably due to her appearance at the Republican National Convention, although shoppers seemed more interested in her shoes than in the dress she wore during her speech at the event.
The team also observed declines in Ivanka Trump goods after the election and throughout the holiday season.
Ivanka’s brand likely took a hit in October 2016 when Shannon Coulter, a marketing specialist in California, started an online petition calling for a boycott of all Trump-branded merchandise and of the retailers that carry the products. Coulter’s petition was a response to last year’s release of a 2005 video in which Donald Trump made sexually derogatory statements about women.
Interestingly, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s — which have also faced pressure to drop Ivanka’s line — saw online sales rise 30 percent and 9 percent respectively in the fourth quarter, according to Slice.