Ivanka Trump brand in ‘crisis’ mode despite sales spike, Bay Area boycott leader says
US President-elect Donald Trump whispers to his daughter Ivanka during a press conference January 11, 2017 at Trump Tower in New York. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP Getty)
Ivanka Trump supporters must have been celebrating the news late last week that the first daughter’s eponymous fashion brand got a considerable online sales spike in February.
A report also popped up that Neiman Marcus was once again selling two Ivanka Trump brand diamond rings on its website after the department store had dropped the first daughter’s products in February, possibly due to pressure from the Bay Area-led #GrabYourWallet boycott movement.
Abigail Klem, president of the Ivanka Trump brand, boasted in a statement that “the beginning of February” marked the “best performing weeks in the history of the brand,” according to The Washington Post.
“For several different retailers, Ivanka Trump was a top performer online, and in some of the categories it was the best performance ever,” added Klum, who was put in charge of the brand after Ivanka officially separated herself from her company after she moved to Washington D.C. to take on an unofficial role in her father’s White House.
But Shannon Coulter, #GrabYourWallet’s co-founder, dismissed the idea that the sales spike represented any significant backlash against the boycott movement.
First of all, she and several news outlets, including the Washington Post, Vanity Fair and Us Weekly, pointed out that the sales increase occurred after President Donald Trump on February tweet-slammed Nordstrom for discontinuing sales of his daughter’s brand and after White House counselor Kellyanne Conway violated White House ethics rules on February 9 by telling viewers of “Fox & Friends” to “go buy” Ivanka’s products.
Lyst, one of the biggest fashion e-commerce websites in the world, pointed to a 219 percent sales increase on February 9, the same day that Conway made the controversial remarks on-air.
In two Facebook posts, Coulter says that the nature of the coverage and other factors show that the Ivanka Trump company is in “crisis” communications mode, “pro-actively trying to control and change the media narrative around the brand.”
The company refused to release sales numbers to prove its claim of a sales spike, which to Coulter suggests they know it would look very bad for them if people saw a direct correlation between Conway’s free pitch for Ivanka’s brand and the sales increase.
Meanwhile, Coulter reported Saturday that the two Ivanka Trump diamond rings Neiman Marcus was selling on its website have since disappeared. Moreover, she said she learned via a Vanity Fair report that the Ivanka Trump company was going to shutter its high-end jewelry line.
Vanity Fair said that the decision to discontinue the Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry Collection, which sold diamond and gold baubles ranging from $400 to $25,000, reflects the evolution of both Ivanka’s brand and that of her family to appeal less to “people who live in a Liberace-like triplex” and more to the “fast-food-eating, approachable bunch that you might see in the lobby of a Holiday Inn.” In other words, the Trumps are going after more “Breitbartian markets” instead of the Madison Avenue, high-end-department store crowd.
“To me, this looks like the Ivanka brand is having to pivot to be more aligned with her father’s demographic and therefore shift toward making lower price point items,” Coulter added.
Whatever is going on, Coulter said, a source told a journalist who was interviewing her that Ivanka’s people were absolutely furious about Conway’s “buy Ivanka’s stuff” comment.
Meanwhile, Coulter said Sunday that she she is confirming whether Bed Bath & Beyond has stopped selling Ivanka Trump products in its stores; the retailer has dropped her products from its website.
Coulter noted that people who voted against Trump, and who are concerned that he, Ivanka and the rest of his family are trying to profit from his presidency have all the economic power.
“The people who voted against Donald generate two thirds of this country’s economic activity,” Coulter said. “We don’t control the polls, but we do control markets and I think the free market has spoken very loudly on this issue to date and will continue to do so, even if the White House continues to abuse its power to promote a family member’s brand.”