More than 30 Trump Home items were removed by the retailer so it could “focus on our most profitable items,” the company said. But a quick search of the Sears site reveals more than 200 Donald and Ivanka Trump products, all offered by third-party sellers.
Monday morning, Sears Holding Corp., vice president of corporate communications Chris Brathwaite, clarified the company’s stance in its blog, acknowledging that a few Trump items had been removed, along with product from other brands, in the normal course of business but says the recent headlines were misleading.
“But, any fair observer who searches for Trump or Ivanka Trump on Sears.com would find hundreds of products available for purchase. All of these products are offered by our marketplace sellers and not directly by Sears or Kmart,” Brathwaite wrote.
Sears is just the latest retailer to deal with bad PR surrounding Trump-branded goods, following other stores like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Belk.
It began when proponents of the #GrabYourWallet anti-Trump campaign claimed victory for inducing Nordstrom into dropping the Ivanka Trump collection. Not so, said the Seattle-based department store. It was sales, not politics that prompted the move. Since then, the store has had to issue several similar statements, underscoring the First Daughter’s products were not faring well enough to move forward.
Next, Neiman Marcus pulled the Ivanka Trump brand’s precious jewelry collection, which had been offered on consignment. Then Belk removed Trump goods from its site. Both retailers issued statements that performance, not political affiliations, drives their business decisions.
This weekend, the Wall Street Journal ran a story that seems to support Nordstrom’s claim. The newspaper says sales of the Ivanka Trump line fell 32 percent at Nordstrom during the last fiscal year, with the most dramatic drop off occurring in the weeks leading up to the election. During most of October, sales dropped by more than 70 percent compared to the previous year. The numbers show the brand recovered somewhat in January with a decline of 26 percent on average. Nordstrom has not commented on the story.
If these sales numbers are accurate, it flies in the face of the president’s claim, via Twitter, that his daughter was mistreated by the department store chain.
Meanwhile, White House advisor, KellyAnne Conway, was caught in the middle of ethics questions last week after she endorsed Ivanka Trump products live on air.