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Before her father stepped into the presidential race, Ivanka Trump’s branded lines of clothing, accessories, shoes, and fragrances barely registered with some shoppers.
But last year, Ivanka’s brand came under the microscope thanks to the #GrabYourWallet boycott of Trump goods and other businesses with ties to the family. In early February, the attention turned into a frenzy. Nordstrom confirmed that it would no longer be selling Ivanka Trump products, eliciting public chastisement from the President himself and kicking off a wave of other retailers backing away from stocking it. Customers responded variously with applause and outrage.
It seems February’s heightened media and consumer scrutiny actually gave the Ivanka Trump brand a lift with some sellers.
According to Lyst, a London-based e-commerce startup that pulls product from hundreds of retailers onto one site, Ivanka Trump was its 11th most popular brand in February, based on order count. That’s a huge leap from where it had been weeks before: In January, Ivanka Trump ranked at number 550 on Lyst.
In February and January, Lyst’s most ordered brands were Missguided, ASOS, Nike, Boohoo, Adidas, and River Island, all British high street names except for the two sportswear giants.
Though the e-commerce aggregator was founded in the UK, 60 percent of its users come from the States, and a rep for the company says that the vast majority of Ivanka Trump shoppers are based in the US.
The popularity is notable given that at the start of the month, Nordstrom said that its decision to no longer carry Ivanka Trump merchandise was based on declining sales. And according to CNBC, analytics group Slice Intelligence clocked a 26 percent decrease in Ivanka Trump brand sales across a number of retailers during January, relative to the same month the year before.
Just as some shoppers have used their purchasing power to show their distaste for the Trump administration — by shopping at Nordstrom after it dropped Ivanka Trump, for instance, or by avoiding Trump products — some pro-Trump consumers are rallying around the president by avoiding stores like Nordstrom and buying goods that bear the Trump name. In mid-February, Ivanka Trump’s namesake perfume bounced up to number one on Amazon’s best-selling women’s fragrances list.
Since the Ivanka Trump brand doesn’t release its own sales figures, understanding its sales performance is murky business, dependent on which data source you happen to be looking at. But there’s a reason to be hungry for the numbers. So much of the conversation around Ivanka Trump’s brand is about shopping as activism, and while boycotting a company is a passive form of protest, actively purchasing a polyester Ivanka Trump shirt may move the needle more.
No matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on, the fate of Ivanka Trump’s brand seems like a test case for whether shopping-as-political-activism even works. The latest Lyst numbers may just prove it does.