Retailers who dumped Ivanka Trump’s fashion line in early February are kicking themselves today.
In an extraordinary demonstration of the power of the purse by ordinary people, Ivanka’s fashions jumped from the 550th most popular to the 11th best selling brand in February. This is after Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and several other department stores stopped selling the line, citing poor sales.
The line showed a spectacular increase in sales of 346 percent from January 2017 through February 2017.
Sales jumped 219 percent on February 9 compared to the day before. That’s the same day that White House aide Kellyanne Conway defended Ivanka’s products on “Fox and Friends.”
“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff is what I would tell you,” Conway said. “I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody.”
And viewers did, apparently.
Abigail Klem, president of the Ivanka Trump brand, said in a statement that “the beginning of February” shows “the best performing weeks in the history of the brand.”
“For several different retailers, Ivanka Trump was a top performer online, and in some of the categories it was the best performance ever,” Klem said.
But the brand was “largely featured” in the news in February, Tanner said. Conway gave her on-air endorsement of Ivanka Trump’s brand after President Trump had complained on Twitter that his daughter had “been treated so unfairly” by the department store Nordstrom, which dropped her clothing line over slow sales.
“It would not be a surprise to us if it resulted in the increase in sales,” Tanner said of Conway’s Fox interview. “I think that’s one of the reasons the brand was largely in the news and could have attributed to this increase.”
Conway got into trouble for those remarks, as she apparently violated ethics rules for public employees. But her small transgression paid big dividends for Ivanka Trump.
According to Lyst, February drew unusually large numbers of orders across many Ivanka Trump-branded products, including dresses, shoes, pants, coats, knitwear and tops. Heels were the bestsellers, followed by dresses.
“We’ve never seen such a large uptick,” Tanner said. “Typically, she’s not in our top 100 sellers.”
Comparing February’s numbers with last year’s average number of orders of Ivanka Trump products shows a difference of 557 percent. (Tanner said company policy prohibits her from sharing the actual numbers of online sales.)
The excitement on the brand, however, may be slumping. The company’s numbers show sales were gradually tapering off toward the end of February. March does not appear to be as remarkable, but sales are still on track to be about eight percent better than they were in January, according to Lyst.
Nordstrom should fire the employee who recommended the company give in to the haters and drop Ivanka’s clothing line. Ditto for Neiman Marcus. If retailers are to survive as brick and mortar stores, they need smart, hard-headed people making decisions, not mushy-headed nincompoops who bend to the political winds.
The fact is, with the Trump profile raised in January, sales began to climb—a completely predictable phenomenon. But some retailers panicked and gave in to the hysterics. In the process of bowing to the haters, they lost money—lots of it.
I have no idea if Ivanka Trump’s fashion line is any good. I have the fashion sense of a goat. But of all those people who bought Ivanka Trump merchandise in January and February, you have to figure many of them became aware of the brand for the first time and will be return customers. That bodes well for Ivanka Trump and for the retailers who resisted calls to dump the products largely because of politics.