Trump brand takes another hit: Sears and Kmart

The White House has Ivanka Trump's branding on it

Nordstrom. Neiman Marcus. TJ Maxx. And now, Sears and Kmart.

Sears Holdings, which owns the Sears and Kmart retail stores, reported this weekend that it will remove 31 Trump-branded items from its website.

Sears spokesman Brian Hanover told Reuters the company was pulling these products out as part of a plan to focus on “the most profitable items”.

Hanover told the news organization that items in the Trump Home furniture line have been removed from the company’s website, although they can still be purchased online through third-party vendors. Neither stores sell these items in their physical stores, he said.

Searches on the websites of Sears and KMart did not turn up Trump Home products, except for those sold by third-party vendors.

In a statement Monday, spokesman Chris Brathwaite distanced Sears from any political controversy and reiterated that many Trump-branded products are still available through third-party sellers.

In this case, certain products were removed from our site, including a very small number of Trump products, he said. “Titles do not match our business or this particular brand of product that we offer through our marketplace sellers.”

Brathwaite added that the company wants to focus on its business and “leave the politics to others.”

Related: Is Ivanka Trump’s Brand Depreciating?

The move makes Sears the latest to abandon Trump-branded products.

In the first day of this month, Nordstrom (JWN) cited the brand’s “performance,” not politics, as why it decided to stop carrying Ivanka Trump’s brand of clothing and accessories.

President Trump slammed the department store on Twitter in retaliation. Nordstrom stock jumped 7% in the first two days after the tweet.

Other stores have also sought to distance themselves from Ivanka Trump’s brand.

Neiman Marcus removed the brand’s landing page from its website and declined to tell CNNMoney whether it intends to keep Ivanka Trump products in stores or continue selling online in the future.

Company TJX (TJX)The company that owns TJ Maxx and Marshalls, also said it recently asked workers not to feature their first daughter’s brand in stores.

And retailer Belk said last week that it plans to pull Ivanka Trump products from its website, but will continue to offer the line in its flagship stores.

Ivanka Trump’s clothing and accessories line has been a hit in recent months.

According to Slice Intelligence, a retail analytics firm, her brand’s online sales fell 26% in January from a year earlier. Slice studied brand sales across five online stores: Nordstrom, Amazon, Zappos, Macy’s, and Bloomingdale’s.

According to Taylor Stanton, Slice’s director of marketing and communications, online sales of the Ivanka brand skyrocketed in late 2015 and last month’s numbers seemed like a “return to reality”. Jack Beckwythe, an analyst at Slice, said the drop in the brand’s performance was unusual after online sales increased in 2016 in the clothing and accessories category, said Jack Beckwythe, an analyst. Slice’s analysis said.

Related: Kellyanne Conway Doesn’t Regret Ivanka Trump Plug

Brand Ivanka Trump has defended her record.

Rosemary Young, Ivanka Trump’s senior director of marketing, told CNNMoney last week that the brand is growing and experienced “significant year-over-year revenue growth in 2016”.

“We believe the strength of a brand is measured not only by the profits it generates, but also by the integrity it maintains,” says Young.

Retailers such as Bloomingdale’s, Amazon (AMZN)Lord & Taylor, Macy’s (USA) and Zappos both still carry Ivanka Trump products.

Ivanka Trump has been out of work at her eponymous company since her father was elected president. She has no official role in the government but is expected to have a say on issues such as women’s empowerment and childcare.

Jackie Wattles of –CNNMoney contributed to this story.

CNNMoney (New York) First published February 12, 2017: 3:35 PM ET Trump brand takes another hit: Sears and Kmart

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