When it’s time to buy sandals for spring break or heels for a wedding, I’m the guy the ladies need. I’m a women’s shoes associate at Nordstrom, and I’ve been sharing the Nordy love for nearly three years.
It came to my surprise when Nordstrom made headlines following President Trump’s objections to Nordstrom’s business decision to drop Ivanka’s clothing line from stores. Later his top advisor Kellyanne Conway plugged the clothing line during a live interview.
“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff is what I would say,” Conway said in a Thursday morning interview with Fox News, speaking from the White House briefing room. “I’m going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today, everybody; you can find it online.”
The Ivanka Trump clothing line’s poor sales performance led Nordstrom to drop the brand on Feb. 2.
When customers began calling, I made it clear Nordstrom was not making a political statement, despite President Trump’s claim of a targeted attack on his daughter and his name.
The Wall Street Journal reported Nordstrom sales of the Ivanka Trump clothing and shoes fell by nearly one-third in the past fiscal year, with sharp drops in sales in the weeks before her father was elected.
President Trump and his administration blasted Nordstrom for the move and the members of the liberal public commended the department store’s decision on social media, at times using the trending hashtag, #grabyourwallet.
Comedian Chelsea Handler tweeted a photo of herself and her posse in front of the White House toting Nordstrom shopping bags.
What both groups have wrong is who should be the target of their criticism or praise. Nordstrom does not deserve the focus; the people’s buying power does.
Companies share one primary concern—the bottom line; controversial business decisions are no exception. It is possible Nordstrom was driven to drop the Ivanka Trump brand for political reasons, but even those reasons are hitched to dollar signs and data. In short, political decisions can have as much to do with money as economic decisions.
From the perspective of the sales floor, I can affirm the Ivanka Trump brand performed poorly during the election and after.
It was the first time I saw customers reject a brand for political reasons.
“You can have any shoe, except ones with Trump on them,” a mother told her daughter as we began selecting what to try on.
“Oh, they’re Trump?” a customer asked with disappointment after examining a shoe she said they loved.
The effects of the people’s buying powers can sway the market and our environment. Today, a collective purchasing decision sparked a Twitter tirade from the President, but buying power can accomplish much more.
The Nordstrom decision demonstrated a valuable lesson to the general public and me; companies bend to the people’s will, so long as the money does the talking.
In the two days following President Trump’s tweets, Nordstrom’s stocks went up seven percent outpacing gains from their rivals companies T.J. Maxx (one percent), Macy’s, (4.5 percent), and Dillard’s (5.5 percent).
An entity or idea can be fixed into place or snubbed indefinitely; it depends on whether the people invest in it. Don’t credit the ship for changing course; credit the tide the ship is at mercy to. We the people are the tide.