The list of retailers ditching Ivanka Trump product and citing poor productivity continues to grow.
Over the weekend, Sears Holdings Corp. — the owner of Sears and Kmart department stores — said it would remove about 31 Trump-branded home products from its websites as it aims to focus on more profitable items.
In a statement posted on the company’s website today, Chris Brathwaite, VP of corporate communications at Sears Holdings, said the firm’s decision is consistent with its ongoing strategy for managing overall profitability.
“We constantly monitor products for productivity, adding products that are in demand and removing products with lesser demand,” Brathwaite said. “In addition, where we find or are informed that certain products are unsafe or inappropriate, we will remove those products as well.”
Brathwaite’s comments echo the sentiments of Nordstrom Inc. and Neiman Marcus, who also dropped the first daughter’s line this month, claiming dimming sales.
Nordstrom’s decision generated the most headlines when President Donald Trump took to Twitter to slam the department store chain last week: “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” Trump tweeted.
Amid criticism from the commander in chief, Nordstrom stuck to its guns and reiterated that its move was apolitical and strictly related to the Ivanka Trump brand’s performance.
The TJX Companies-owned chains TJ Maxx and Marshalls also joined the fray last week when reports surfaced that management from both discount retailers instructed employees to downplay Ivanka Trump merchandise by discarding signage and mixing the wares in with other clothing and accessories.
TJX confirmed that such a memo was sent to its employees but — as has been the case for many of the past few weeks — steered clear of any suggestion that the decision was politically motivated.
Although speculation has run rampant that retailers are caving to pressure to ditch Ivanka’s line due to some of her father’s unpopular policies, some evidence lends credence to the retailers’ claims of lackluster brand performance.
Last week, a new study by market research firm Slice Intelligence found that online sales for the first daughter’s line dipped 26 percent in January 2017.
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.)