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Nordstrom, however, places the blame wholly on the brand’s performance, without mention of what might be making it perform so poorly. “We've said all along we make buying decisions based on performance,” a company spokesperson says. “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.”
The end of the partnership comes after months of the #GrabYourWallet campaign, which has been in full effect since October. The campaign was started by Shannon Coulter and Sue Atencio, who met on Twitter. The duo initially started a Google spreadsheet of retailers that do business with the Trump family, from stores that carry Ivanka and President Donald Trump’s lines to businesses owned by the Trumps themselves, but the list has since been moved to its own website, GrabYourWallet.org.
Since the campaign started, thousands have taken to Twitter to voice their support of the boycott. Coulter says that last month, participants voted Nordstrom the most boycott-able company on the list; based off a poll that had 249 participants, Nordstrom was ranked number one. Coulter says that’s because it’s “the store they’d most like to be able to shop again.”
Nordstrom wouldn’t comment any further about the business decision, but it’s clear the boycott’s hurt the Ivanka Trump account at the 116-year-old Seattle-based retailer.
The exact details of the dissolution of the partnership are still unclear — Racked reached out to the Ivanka Trump label, but has yet to hear back. Nordstrom is using Twitter to tell customers who seem excited to be able to return to their post-Trump shopping habits that it didn’t “buy the brand for this season based on its sales performance” and that it couldn’t say if it would stock Ivanka Trump in the future because Nordstrom makes decisions like this “season to season.”
Coulter first tipped Racked off to the dramatic decline in Ivanka Trump products on the Nordstrom website early Thursday morning: From December 2nd to December 27th, the number dropped from 71 products to 48. As of January 11th, Nordstrom was selling 43 products, but by January 29th, it was down to 26, according to Coulter’s calculation. (The Macy’s site, on the other hand, has 90 items listed, all with deep discounts.) As of today, February 2nd, Nordstrom is down to four items, and the Ivanka Trump label is also no longer on the list of brands Nordstrom carries. On the Ivanka Trump website, the items from outfits posted four days ago that link out to Nordstrom are no longer available on the site.
When the #GrabYourWallet campaign was first started, a move like this was exactly what Coulter was hoping for.
“What this boycott means to me is that companies that I love, like Nordstrom and Amazon, are making money from the Donald Trump campaign, which to me is synonymous with hate and divisiveness so I can’t, in good faith, shop there anymore,” Coulter told Racked back in November. “People aren’t boycotting them to punish them or ruin any businesses. They want to support these companies but can’t do so in good conscience.”
The Ivanka Trump line was included in the boycott, Coulter added, because “she made her father palatable to many young female voters, and her being on the campaign trail, and returning to campaign with him after the Trump tapes, has as much to do with her ambitions as it has to do with her father’s.” (Ivanka formally left her namesake label earlier last month, after her husband, Jared Kushner, took the position of senior White House adviser.)
The campaign’s boycott list is still pretty long; it includes many major department stores, including Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, and Lord & Taylor, as well as HSN, Century 21, Overstock.com, and DSW (each retailer is listed with an explanation as to why it’s being boycotted). Others have listened, though. In November, Shoes.com told Coulter via Twitter it was dropping the line.
On Twitter, it’s clear customers want to know if Nordstrom’s decision is politically motivated: Trump supporters likely won’t be happy with the seemingly boycott-motivated move, and #GrabYourWallet fans won't be thrilled with the blurry “it’s just business” answer.
One thing everyone can agree on? Nordstrom still has the best customer service.
Update: February 2nd, 2017, 10:00 p.m.
This article has been updated with official confirmation from Nordstrom that it is in fact dropping Ivanka Trump's line, after previous speculation fueled by observation that items were no longer on Nordstrom.com.
Update: February 3rd, 2017, 6:00 p.m.
The Ivanka Trump brand has issued a statement about Nordstrom. This article’s headline has also been updated.
Update: February 8th, 2017, 5:30 p.m.
Following President Donald Trump’s tweet regarding the move, Nordstrom issued a new statement: “To reiterate what we’ve already shared when asked, we made this decision based on performance. Over the past year, and particularly in the last half of 2016, sales of the brand have steadily declined to the point where it didn’t make good business sense for us to continue with the line for now. We've had a great relationship with the Ivanka Trump team. We’ve had open conversations with them over the past year to share what we've seen and Ivanka was personally informed of our decision in early January.”