Did President Trump go too far with his Nordstrom tweet?
Donald Trump took to Twitter yesterday to call out Nordstrom for making the decision to delist his daughter Ivanka’s line of clothing from its stores and website.
Mr. Trump 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!”
The president failed to explain how Nordstrom’s decision was unfair, but White House press secretary Sean Spicer said at a news briefing that Ms. Trump’s brand was being “targeted” because of opposition to her father.
While some interpreted Mr. Spicer’s remarks as a condemnation of Nordstrom, it’s possible he may have been referring to the “Grab Your Wallet” boycott of Trump brand products. The boycott was launched last year after an “Access Hollywood” video went public in which Mr. Trump was recorded speaking about women in demeaning terms.
Even if the latter explanation of Mr. Spicer’s comments were true, is he saying Nordstrom should stock Ms. Trump’s brand even if it is not selling?
Last November, a Nordstrom e-mail obtained by Fortune explained that the retailer had customers who wanted Ms. Trump’s line discontinued while others urged Nordstrom to continue selling the brand. Nordstrom’s e-mail offered its bottom line on the matter: “Every single brand we offer is evaluated on their results — if people don’t buy it, we won’t sell it.”
Yesterday, Nordstrom issued the following statement: “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.”
Nordstrom is not alone in recently delisting Ms. Trump’s brands. Belk, Neiman Marcus, Jet.com and ShopStyle have done the same, according to Fast Company. Macy’s delisted then-candidate Trump’s line of shirts and ties in 2015 shortly after he made remarks interpreted as disparaging of Mexican immigrants.
- Trump’s claim Ivanka is being ‘treated so unfairly’ by Nordstrom – The Washington Post
- Nordstrom Drops Ivanka Trump Line, Citing Poor ‘Performance’ – NBC News
- Nordstrom on Selling Ivanka Trump Products: ‘We strive to be agnostic’ – Fortune
- More retailers dump Ivanka Trump products and jewelry collection may be over – Fast Company
- Why we dropped Trump’s menswear line: Macy’s CEO – CNBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is your reaction to Donald Trump’s criticism of Nordstrom for delisting Ivanka Trump products? Should advocate groups such as the National Retail Federation and Retail Industry Leaders Association and other retailers make public statements supportive of Nordstrom and/or critical of the president?