Donald Trump Targets Nordstrom in Tweet About Ivanka Trump Fashion Brand
"My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly."
President Donald Trump regularly takes time out of his busy schedule to tweet his personal opinions (and his thoughts on the dating history of movie stars).
But it is still somewhat surprising that he took to the social platform to defend his daughter and her beleaguered fashion brand.
On Wednesday morning, Trump sounded off on Nordstrom, claiming that Ivanka Trump was treated unfairly by the department store chain, which announced last week that it would stop carrying her brand, citing declining sales.
"My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom," he wrote. "She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!"
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person -- always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
Reaction on social media was swift, as Nordstrom stock took a tumble (but then quickly recovered), and some commenters on Trump's tweet pointed out the president could be using his office to manipulate stock prices and influence the family business, a clear conflict of interest, even going so far as to tag the Office of Government Ethics (@OfficeGovEthics) on their comments. Trump's post was retweeted by the official @POTUS account. On the other side, his original post garnered 22,000 likes in moments.
In a press conference Wednesday afternoon White House press secretary Sean Spicer addressed media questions about the president's tweet about his daughter's business, saying, "There are efforts to undermine her name...because people have a problem with his policies."
Ivanka Trump founded her fashion brand in 2007 and stepped away from it earlier this year to avoid conflict of interest issues; her husband Jared Kushner is a Senior White House Advisor in the Trump administration. The brand made headlines last week when it was confirmed upscale retailer Nordstrom would be dropping it starting with the fall 2017 season.
Following Nordstrom dropping the brand, a rep told THR: "We've said all along we make buying decisions based on performance. We’ve got thousands of brands — more than 2,000 offered on the site alone. Reviewing their merit and making edits is part of the regular rhythm of our business. Each year we cut about 10 percent and refresh our assortment with about the same amount. In this case, based on the brand’s performance we’ve decided not to buy it for this season."
Rosemary K. Young, senior director of marketing for Ivanka’s brand, put a positive spin on things when reached Monday, saying, "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. 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."
Nordstrom isn't the only department store facing pressure from customers who disagree with Ivanka's politics. The #GrabYourWallet boycott movement, launched by Shannon Coulter, has named Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Dillard's among the stores shoppers should avoid. Last week, Ivanka Trump fine jewelry disappeared from Neiman Marcus' website; however, a spokesperson for the brand told THR that the label would continue to be sold at select stores based on consignment.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Ivanka Trump fine jewelry may cease to produce after the latest collection sells through, according to independent jewelry retailers. “We’ve been told that once the [jewelry] inventory they have has been sold off, that’s it, there won’t be any more," Harvey Rovinsky, president of Bernie Robbins Jewelers, an independent retailer with four locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, tells THR.
Meanwhile, much of the Ivanka Trump inventory still carried at major department stores has been significantly marked down. Discount retailers, including Nordstrom Rack, Marshall's and Saks Off Fifth, are also selling products — from shoes and apparel to handbags and accessories — for a fraction of the original retail price. The New York Times reported Wednesday that TJX Companies, parent company of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, sent a memo to stores advising them to remove all Ivanka Trump signs and fixtures, and move merchandise into mixed clothing racks.
After moving to Washington, D.C., to support her father, Ivanka stated that she was severing ties with her eponymous brand to avoid conflict of interest and appointed Abigail Klem as the new president. However, it was reported that as of last week, she still had not filed the papers to resign from her company; a spokesperson for the Trump Organization stated that the paperwork would be filed by last Friday.
This isn't the first time President Trump has tweeted about a brand, either. After it was reported that Linda Bean, granddaughter of L.L. Bean founder, had donated money to a Super PAC that supported Trump, the President came out in support of the retailer, tweeting "Buy L.L. Bean." The president's tweets have also affected stock prices at U.S. automakers, Carrier and Boeing.