Just one day after President Donald Trump slammed Nordstrom Inc. on Twitter for dropping his daughter Ivanka Trump’s line, Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to the president, has made a public endorsement of the first daughter’s line.
In the White House press briefing room today, Conway told “Fox & Friends”: “It’s a wonderful line. I own some of it. I fully — I’m fully going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
According to some experts, Conway’s message may have violated a rule banning federal officials from using public office to sell or endorse products.
On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted that the first daughter “has been treated so unfairly” by Nordstrom, adding that “she is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!”
In an email statement to Footwear News Wednesday, Nordstrom reiterated its previous explanation that its decision to cut Ivanka Trump’s line of accessories and shoes was an apolitical one, based on the brand’s performance.
The Nordstrom rep said the company had “a great relationship with the Ivanka Trump team” and has “had open conversations with them over the past year to share what we’ve seen, and Ivanka was personally informed of our decision in early January.”
There has been persistent speculation that the department store chain succumbed to pressures to cut ties with the brand following a call for a Trump brand boycott last year as well as backlash stemming from several controversial executive orders signed by the president after his inauguration in January.
Seattle-based news publication The Stranger reportedly obtained a memo sent to Nordstrom employees by company co-presidents and brothers Peter, Erik and Blake Nordstrom last week in the wake of the president’s immigration ban:
“When John W. Nordstrom came to the U.S. as an immigrant, he was given opportunities that allowed him to find a more prosperous and happy life. In so many ways, our humble beginning and the work ethic and gratitude that goes with it helped shape the culture of our company to this day. Over 116 years, we have been fortunate to be able to build on the foundation JWN laid for us, thanks to all of you who have chosen to bring your unique experiences and backgrounds to work here at Nordstrom every day. We currently employ more than 76,000 people who comprise different races, ethnicities and genders. We literally have thousands of employees who are first- and second-generation immigrants. Every one of your unique qualities brings a richness that allows us to better reflect and serve the multicultured communities we’re a part of and ultimately makes us a better company. We are a better place with you here, no doubt about it.
It’s important that we reiterate our values to all of you and make it clear that we support each of our employees. We will continue to value diversity, inclusion, respect and kindness … you can count on that,” the memo reportedly read.
Luxury department store Neiman Marcus also announced over the weekend that it would no longer carry Ivanka Trump’s jewelry on its website or in its stores due to the brand’s lack of productivity.
On Monday, a spokesperson for the Ivanka Trump brand told FN that despite both department store chains’ claims of poor productivity, all is well with the company’s top line.
“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,” Rosemary K. Young, senior director of marketing at Ivanka Trump, said. “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.”
Reports on Wednesday also indicated that TJ Maxx and Marshalls instructed employees at its stores to downplay Ivanka Trump merchandise by discarding signage and mixing the wares in with other clothing and accessories as opposed to featuring the products separately.