Trump brand takes another hit: Sears and Kmart
Sears Holdings, the company that owns Sears and Kmart retail stores, reportedly said this weekend that it would remove 31 Trump-branded items from its website.
The company has withdrawn the products as part of a plan to focus on its “most profitable items,” Sears spokesman Brian Hanover told Reuters.
Hanover told the news organization that the articles in the Trump Home furniture line had been removed from the company’s website, although they can still be purchased online from third-party suppliers. Neither store carried the items to their physical stores, he said.
Nordstrom. Neiman Marcus. TJ Maxx. And now Sears and Kmart.
Searches on the Sears and KMart websites did not reveal Trump Home products, except those sold by third-party vendors.
In a statement Monday, spokesman Chris Brathwaite removed Sears from political controversy and reiterated that many Trump-branded products are still available from third-party sellers.
“In this case, some products have been removed from our websites, including a very small number of Trump products,” he said. “The titles do not do justice to our business or to that specific brand of products that we offer through our market vendors.”
Brathwaite added that the company prefers to focus on its activities and “leave politics to others”.
Related: Is Ivanka Trump’s Brand Losing Its Bling?
The move makes Sears the last to drop products bearing the Trump name.
Earlier this month, Nordstrom (() cited the brand’s “performance”, not politics, as the reason it decided to stop wearing the Ivanka Trump clothing and accessories label.
President Trump hit the department store on Twitter in retaliation. Nordstrom shares jumped 7% in the first two days after the tweet.
Other stores have also sought to differentiate themselves from the Ivanka Trump brand.
Neiman Marcus removed the brand’s landing page from his website and refused to tell CNNMoney if he intended to keep Ivanka Trump products in stores or resume online sales in the future.
TJX Companies((), the company that owns TJ Maxx and Marshalls, also said it recently told workers not to advertise the first girl’s brand in stores.
And retailer Belk said last week that it plans to remove Ivanka Trump’s products from its website, but will continue to offer the line at its flagship stores.
Ivanka Trump’s clothing and accessories line has hit the nail on the head in recent months.
Its brand’s online sales fell 26% in January from a year earlier, according to Slice Intelligence, a retail analytics firm. Slice studied the brand’s sales in five online stores: Nordstrom, Amazon, Zappos, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.
According to Taylor Stanton, Slice’s marketing and communications manager, online sales for the Ivanka brand had surged by the end of 2015, and last month’s figures seem rather to be a “return to reality”. The drop in brand performance was abnormal in light of an increase in online sales in 2016 in the clothing and accessories category, said Jack Beckwythe, analyst at Slice.
Related: Kellyanne Conway Unrepentant For The Ivanka Trump Take
The Ivanka Trump brand defended its performance.
Rosemary Young, senior marketing director at Ivanka Trump, told CNNMoney last week that the brand is growing and has seen “significant year-over-year revenue growth in 2016”.
“We believe that the strength of a brand is measured not only by the profits it generates, but by the integrity it maintains,” said Young.
Retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Amazon ((), Lord & Taylor, Macy’s (( ) and Zappos still carry all Ivanka Trump products.
Ivanka Trump has taken time off from her namesake business since her father won the presidency. She has no formal role in administration but should have a voice on issues such as women’s empowerment and child care.
– CNMoney’s Jackie Wattles contributed to this story.
CNNMoney (New York) First published February 12, 2017: 3:35 p.m. ET