President Donald Trump is standing by his daughter.
On Wednesday, Mr. Trump shared his support for Ivanka Trump, whose eponymous brand has been dropped by retailers in recent weeks. He tweeted, “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!”
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
Later on Wednesday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer defended Trump’s tweet, saying in his daily press briefing: “I think this was less about his family business than an attack on his daughter.”
“For someone to take out their concern with his policy on a family member of his is not acceptable, and the president has every right as a father to stand up for them,” he added.
Last week, Nordstrom announced it would no longer sell Ivanka Trump products, citing “poor sales” as the reason for the changes. While the decision came on the heels of the president’s executive order to ban immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries, the company insisted that it had made a business decision. Yet behind the scenes, a company memo expressed support for immigrants and highlighted its diverse employee pool (Nordstrom denied any connection). A source close to Ivanka told Refinery29 of the decision, “They couldn’t handle the political pressure, someone new came in, and there was a change in the attitude toward the brand.”
Backlash to the president’s tweet has been swift.
According to White House schedule, this tweet was sent 20 minutes into his daily intelligence briefing. https://t.co/BoilJ6cV6L
— Bill Weir (@BillWeirCNN) February 8, 2017
.@realDonaldTrump Donald, what have we repeatedly said about using your office to influence the family business!
— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) February 8, 2017
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) February 8, 2017
— Jonathan Beckham (@JonathanBeckha6) February 8, 2017
Although others did defend Ivanka on the thread.
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) February 8, 2017
While Nordstrom was the first, many companies have followed.
Shortly after Trump’s tweet, news broke that both T.J Maxx and Marshalls, both owned by the TJX Companies, are also dropping the Ivanka Trump line. The New York Times obtained a copy of an internal memo issued Wednesday saying “Effective immediately, please remove all Ivanka Trump merchandise from features and mix into the runs … All Ivanka Trump signs should be discarded.”
On Tuesday, #GrabYourWallet founder Sharon Coulter confirmed to media outlet Mic that Ivanka- and Donald-branded products were completely pulled from HSN and that ShopStyle was in the process of following suit.
The two brands had been previously placed on the infamous #GrabYourWallet boycott list — an anti-Trump movement that launched in October after the president’s 2005 “Grab her by the p****” comments were publicized. The movement keeps tabs on companies that sell Trump-branded products and encourages people to boycott them, hitting their bottom lines as a political statement. Coulter predicted that by Tuesday, ShopStyle would be removed from the boycott list.
T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HSN and ShopStyle are the latest on the hot list to separate from the Ivanka Trump dynasty. Here are more — and counting:
T.J. Maxx and Marshalls (both owned by TJX Companies)
The following memo was sent to employees of both stores on Wednesday, February 8, according to The New York Times: “Effective immediately, please remove all Ivanka Trump merchandise from features and mix into the runs … All Ivanka Trump signs should be discarded.” The word “runs” in the memo refers to clothing racks. A spokeswoman for the TJX companies told the New York Times that “The communication was intended to instruct stores to mix this line of merchandise into our racks, not to remove it from the sales floor,” Ms. Thompson wrote in an email. “We offer a rapidly changing selection of merchandise for our customers, and brands are featured based on a number of factors.” But an anoymous source who works at the stores told the newspaper that this was the first time she had seen a request like this in her years at the company.
According to fashion site Racked, the department store Neiman Marcus dropped Ivanka Trump’s jewelry line from its website, including baubles from its New Jersey store. The 21 items on sale vanished, along with any mention of Ivanka on Neiman Marcus’s list of designers. On Feb. 3, the store sent the following statement to Racked: “Based on productivity we continuously assess whether our brands are carried in stores, on our website, or both.”
During the first weekend in February, the nationwide department store scrubbed Ivanka’s name from its search engine. One exception: Ivanka’s dresses and coats are still available in one Charlotte, N.C., store, according to Racked. On Monday, Belk emailed the following statement to Racked: “We continually review our assortment and the performance of the brands we carry. And we make adjustments as part of our normal course of business operations.”
The Canadian shoe retailer tweeted its decision to abandon Ivanka Trump back in November as a result of the #GrabYourWallet boycott: “We understand and your voices have been heard. We have removed the products from our website.” A spokesperson for Ivanka defended the company in a statement to Footwear News: “While Shoes.com was an inconsequential part of our business, they were not fulfilling their end of the contract and parting was inevitable.”
The owner of a jewelry store in Palm Desert, Calif., told the Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday that she’s decided to drop Ivanka Trump’s line, even asking that the Ivanka Trump brand remove her store from its website. “The line hadn’t sold for a long time,” she said. “It had been limping along, and then there was a little attention after the election. But I don’t brand it anymore. If someone asks to see Ivanka Trump pieces I show them, but otherwise they’re just among other pieces in our cases.”
While the 158-year-old brand dropped Donald Trump’s menswear line during the summer of 2015 after the now-president called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “murderers,” it’s only now facing pressure to follow suit with Ivanka’s brand. Macy’s Facebook page has been flooded with demands to stop selling her line. “Nordstrom dumped Trump, please follow suit. I would never put plastic Ivanka Trump boots on my little daughter,” wrote one follower. Another: “Drop Trump from your product line!” Stay tuned for a company response.