Business

Why sales of Ivanka Trump products surged in February

Ivanka Trump might not be having much luck with her childcare proposal, but the fashion line she founded in 2007 had a good month.

Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Trump, speaks with Michelle DeLaune from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children during a meeting on domestic and international human trafficking last month.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP/File | Caption

After several major department stores, including Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, dropped Ivanka Trump’s products, citing poor performance, the company's revenue boomed in February, mostly from online sales.

Though the first daughter divested herself from her eponymous brand in January, a wave of high profile news surrounding the label – including calls for boycotts – combined with full-throated support of the brand from the White House made the sales of Ivanka-brand items more political than ever. 

Abigail Klem, who took over as president of the fashion label after the election, confirmed the company’s rapid growth online since last month, though she declined to provide specific sales figures. The brand sells clothing, shoes, accessories, and jewelry. 

“Since the beginning of February, they were some of the best performing weeks in the history of the brand,” Ms. Klem told Refinery29.com on Tuesday. “For several different retailers, Ivanka Trump was a top performer online, and in some of the categories it was the [company’s] best performance ever.”

Data from Lyst, a British e-commerce website that tracks online sale items, backs her claim. Sales jumped 346 percent from January to February this year and an eye-popping 557 percent from the average orders last year, a representative from the company told the Telegraph. The company's sales ranking on Lyst skyrocketed from 550th in January to 11th in February.

“To see such an extreme spike in one month is completely unheard of and came as a huge surprise to us," the US spokesperson for the London-based company Sarah Tanner told Fox News on Wednesday.

Analysis of email receipts by e-commerce market research firm Slice Intelligence shows that, among its panel of 4.4 million online shoppers, online sales of Ivanka Trump merchandise rose on Amazon last month, surging 332 percent in the first two months of 2017 compared to the same period of time in 2016. The company's perfume became Amazon's bestseller, and the online giant replaced Nordstrom as the largest seller of the brand, CNBC reported on Thursday. 

The label’s sales also jumped 148 percent at Macys.com and 29.5 percent at Bloomingdales.com, which is owned by Macy’s.

The first daughter’s ex-company and possible ongoing conflicts of interest have been in the spotlight in recent months. After Nordstrom announced it would not carry the new season of Ivanka Trump products, President Trump attacked the department store chain in a tweet while White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway plugged the brand during a television interview, as The Christian Science Monitor reported. Ms. Conway was later counseled and the incident led to an investigation by the Office of Government Ethics, who recommended discipline.  

Though Ms. Trump stepped down from the executive role, she still holds her financial stake in the company. Her business interests have drawn criticism, as she is heavily involved in her father’s administration even without an official title. 

“We often noticed sales and search data are related to current events," Ms. Tanner told Fox News. “The Trump brand has largely been in the news many times during February, and it wouldn't be surprising to say that resulted in increased sales, in many calls for supporting the brand that we've seen online and throughout the last couple of months.”

Despite the calls to boycott Ivanka Trump merchandise, Klem remains optimistic about the future of the company. 

“A lot of people support Ivanka, even across both political parties,” she told Refinery29. “And then I think a lot of other people feel like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know Ivanka had a shoe line.’ ‘Oh, I didn’t know she had a handbag line.’ And they’re buying it.”