Despite recent campaigns to boycott the Ivanka Trump brand, at a recent three-day Coterie trade show at the Javits Center, the First Daughter’s shoe brand was a shoe-in. Racked reports several store owners are planning to order the footwear due to customer demand.
“You’ve got to forget about politics,” an anonymous store owner explained. “Our customers really don’t care, they just want to look good.”
Others agreed. Cristina Mena, a buyer for the South American wing of an international store chain, said it would be the first shoe brand her firm carries as they expand into footwear sales. Billie Lee of the e-commerce site Glameur New York likes the brand for its quality, design and pricing. Also from a New York-based store, two buyers explained, ““[Customers] are actually asking for it. Once they try it, they like it and they come back for it.”
Many feel sales supersede politics. Because the Ivanka Trump brand is so recognizable — now even more than ever because of her father — many shops feel carrying it will increase profits.
“Retail is about making sales at a profitable margin. I want to make sales and give my customer what they want. If that happens to be Ivanka Trump, because she’s got the ‘in’ item at the right price point and it’s profitable, then we’ll keep it in,” says Elizabeth Viera, a former Bloomingdales employee who now buys for Bevello, a southeast-based chain. While Viera was not there to buy shoes, she was speaking more broadly about the industry.
Most stores agree that to be successful, they must stock what buyers want. Because the customer is always right, in some cases that can mean not stocking the Trump brand. “If we picked it up all of a sudden, I think our customers would be annoyed,” explains the manager of an Austin-based shop, “We’d get a lot of eyerolls, for sure.”
The bottom line is money talks: If sales of Ivanka’s shoes slow down, retailers will dump them. Their allegiance is with cash, not one specific brand. Hence Nordstroms, Burlington, Belk, and Neiman Marcus’ decision to stop carrying the Ivanka Trump line.
“So if something starts to slow down, you have to make decisions, and it might not be because: ‘We don’t stand for Ivanka Trump,’” Viera said. [Racked]