As President Donald Trump’s trade war escalates, first daughter Ivanka Trump’s eponymous fashion brand is back in the not-so-glamorous spotlight.
HBC — owner of Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, Gilt and other luxury chains — last week confirmed its Canada-based Hudson’s Bay stores are phasing out the brand through the fall “based on its performance.”
“As part of our regular course of business, we review our merchandise offerings and make appropriate changes,” a company spokesperson added in an email statement to FN.
The U.S. and Canada are engaged in a tit-for-tat trade battle, initiated in May when the president announced plans to hit Canada with aluminum and steel tariffs. Canada responded in kind, and now both countries have slapped billions of dollars in tariffs on each other. Some reports have cited heavy pressure on Canada-based HBC as a driving force behind its decision to drop the label from Hudson’s Bay.
An HBC spokesperson told FN today that its decision to phase out the Ivanka Trump collection impacts only its Hudson’s Bay outposts in Canada. For now, Lord & Taylor’s U.S. stores appear to continue to carry the line, and the spokesperson said each of its banners will make “decisions on its individual merchandise assortment based on brand performance.“
The toll Trump’s presidency has taken on his daughter’s fashion line is difficult to tally.
Since Trump’s 2017 inauguration, a flurry of reports have cited rising sales for the Ivanka Trump brand following occasions when the first daughter stepped out in the label’s gear. At the same time, the brand has been the subject of a major boycott campaign (#GrabYourWallet) with numerous stores — including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and TJ Maxx — reported to have dropped the line or scaled it back significantly. To that end, research has also highlighted dimming sales in tandem with political controversies.
In an email exchange today, a spokesperson for the Ivanka Trump brand told FN that despite claims of a significant scaling-down of the brand’s presence at major retailers, “Nordstrom remains to be the only other store to have officially dropped [the] merchandise and continued selling [Ivanka Trump] 2017 spring apparel after their announcement.”
The spokesperson also noted that the label continues to be offered at “six department stores and several online retailers throughout North America.” According to its website, distributors include Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Zappos and Amazon.
Conversely, now-defunct Canadian e-tailer Shoes.com was among the first companies to announce plans to discontinue carrying Ivanka Trump merchandise in response to Shannon Coulter’s #GrabYourWallet boycott last year. Neiman Marcus also said in 2017 that it was giving the ax to its small collection of Ivanka Trump jewelry it carried. In February 2017, Sears Holdings Corp. — the owner of Sears and Kmart department stores — said it would remove about 31 Trump-branded home products from its websites, citing poor productivity.