Nordstrom denies pro-immigration email is linked to dropping Ivanka Trump’s brand

Ivanka Trump with two of her children and husband Jared Kushner.
Ivanka Trump with two of her children and husband Jared Kushner.
(POOL / EPA / REX / Shutterstock / WWD)

The day-by-day chronicling of the state of the Ivanka Trump brand continued Tuesday with an addendum from Nordstrom, which dropped the brand for fall. And this morning an HSN executive struck down online reports that HSN has axed the brand, by stating “HSN has never sold Ivanka Trump products.”

In response to numerous online reports revealing that Nordstrom’s copresidents sent a companywide pro-immigration e-mail to its entire workforce, some speculated that that initiative was linked to Nordstrom’s decision to step away from the Ivanka Trump brand. A Nordstrom spokeswoman denied that claim via e-mail Tuesday. “Last week our copresidents sent an e-mail to all Nordstrom employees to offer support and resources for those directly impacted by the executive order on immigration. Some news outlets have claimed that e-mail was linked to the business decision to move away from Ivanka Trump brand. That’s not accurate. For us, the two were not connected,” she said.

In the Jan. 31 internal memo, which was first reported by The Stranger, Peter, Erik and Blake highlighted their family’s immigrant background and mentioned, “We currently employ more than 76,000 people who comprise different races, ethnicities and genders. We literally have thousands of employees who are first- and second-generation immigrants. Every one of your unique qualities brings a richness that allows us to better reflect and serve the multicultured communities we’re a part of and ultimately makes us a better company. We are a better place with you here, no doubt about it.”


The e-mail also said the company was determining which employees would be affected by the executive order and would be reaching out to those employees to offer support. The Nordstrom spokeswoman said Tuesday, “I should add — we had a number of employees ask us about this executive order. We often send out e-mails to our people on subjects we’re hearing from them about.”

A spokeswoman for Ivanka Trump’s company declined to comment Tuesday.

Last week, Nordstrom denied that the company’s decision to drop the Ivanka Trump fashion brand for fall was affected by political factors or the Trump administration’s recent executive order actions regarding immigration or any other policy measure. “This was a decision made entirely based on brand performance,” the Nordstrom spokeswoman said.

Belk has also since dropped the sportswear and accessories label, and Neiman Marcus has yet to say whether it will offer Ivanka Trump fine jewelry on consignment for fall as it has previously done.

Contrary to the ongoing online fallout railing the health of the Ivanka Trump business, Rosemary K. Young, senior director of marketing at Ivanka Trump, struck back on Feb. 3. She said in a statement, “The Ivanka Trump brand continues to expand across categories and distribution with increased customer support, leading us to experience 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 the integrity it maintains. The women behind the brand represent a diverse group of professionals and we are proud to say that the Ivanka Trump brand continues to embody the principles upon which it was founded. It is a company built to inspire women with solution-oriented offerings, created to celebrate and service the many aspects of their lives.”

After clarifying that HSN has never done business with the Ivanka Trump brand, Brad Bohnert, HSN’s operating vice president of public relations and events, said, “At HSN, we are non-partisan and our product decisions are based solely on a continual evaluation related to our business. While we don’t take a political position at HSN, we recognize that our employees, our partners and our customers will have wide-ranging views on politics and public policy. That sometimes means people will have differences of opinion, but we welcome and encourage that diversity of thought.”

A spokesman for the fashion search engine ShopStyle said today that Ivanka Trump products were being removed from its database. “We do not hold inventory. When our major retail partners remove products from their site it is reflected on Similarly, corresponding to the decline in demand for Ivanka Trump products our retailers are seeing, we saw the same decrease in demand. We are therefore removing Ivanka Trump products from our database to allow higher performing products greater visibility on our platform.”



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