Reaction to President Trump's tweet attacking Nordstrom for dropping his daughter's merchandise was swift.
Nordstrom’s recent decision to stop selling Ivanka Trump merchandise blew up into a national brouhaha Wednesday after President Donald Trump attacked the company on Twitter.
In a mid-morning tweet (10:51 a.m. on the East Coast), the president blasted Nordstrom, saying:
Nordstrom said last week it would stop carrying Ivanka Trump merchandise for the moment, explaining that “based on the brand’s performance we’ve decided not to buy it for this season.” The Seattle-based retailer said it would sell off remaining inventory. Nordstrom, which declined to say if the decision was permanent, said it cuts a number of brands each year.
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Ivanka Trump’s label fired back, saying the brand had a “significant” sales increase last year and that Nordstrom had purchased clothes from the line for this spring.
Nordstrom issued a statement Wednesday afternoon in response to the latest firestorm, reiterating its position that it made the decision based on business, not politics.
“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,” the company said, adding that it’s talked with the Ivanka Trump team over the past year about the sales decline, and that Ivanka Trump was “personally informed of our decision in early January.”
The matter even found its way into Wednesday’s White House press briefings.
When asked about the issue, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the president had “every right” to post that tweet: “He ran for president, he won, he’s leading this country,” he said. “And I think for people to take out their concern about his actions or his executive orders on members of his family — he has every right to stand up for his family and applaud their business activities, their success.”
Nordstrom’s co-presidents had sent an email to their employees last week, before the Ivanka Trump controversy blew up, about President Trump’s executive order temporarily barring citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. The message talked about the company’s founding by immigrant John W. Nordstrom and how it values diversity and inclusion.
Nordstrom said Wednesday that that email was not linked to the decision to drop the Ivanka Trump line.
Neiman Marcus and Belk also reportedly are dropping the Ivanka Trump line from their stores. T.J. Maxx and Marshalls are reportedly distancing themselves from the brand, with employees at the stores getting instructions to throw away the brand’s signs and mix Ivanka Trump merchandise with other brands, according to The New York Times. Trump critics are pressuring Macy’s to drop the line as well.
Nordstrom’s decision to stop carrying the line led to calls for a boycott of the retailer from Trump supporters. Earlier, the retailer had been the subject of a boycott call from anti-Trump activists who wanted the retailer to drop the Ivanka Trump line.
Reaction to President Trump’s tweet was swift, including:
Nordstrom shares were climbing Wednesday after a brief dip following the president’s tweet. They were up more than 3 percent to $44.22 by mid-day Pacific time, and closed Wednesday at $44.53, up 4 percent.