President Trump lashed out Wednesday at Nordstrom for dropping his daughter Ivanka Trump’s fashion line, saying the luxury department store chain’s treatment of her was “Terrible!”
The company made the decision amid political pressure from the left to boycott Trump brands, as the president’s policies and his family’s far-flung business interest entangle despite Mr. Trump’s effort to remove himself from the business world.
Nordstrom last week cited poor sales as the reason for no longer carrying the Ivanka Trump brand clothing and accessories, but Ms. Trump’s company disputes that claim.
“My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” tweeted Mr. Trump.
Nordstrom stock fell by about a half-percentage point after the president’s tweet but recovered within two hours.
The tweet also revived speculation that Mr. Trump was using the presidency to benefit his family’s business empire.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer pushed back, saying the president’s tweet “was less about his family business than [it was about] an attack on his daughter.”
“He has every right to stand up for his family,” Mr. Spicer said, saying it was inappropriate “for someone to take out their concerns with his policies” on his daughter’s brand of clothing.
“I think there’s clearly — there’s a targeting of her brand,” he said. “This is a direct attack on his policies.”
Three days before canceling the Ivanka Trump line, Seattle-based Nordstrom issued an internal memo on the impact of the president’s “extreme vetting” policy and touted the importance of immigration and the company’s commitment to diversity.
“When John W. Nordstrom came to the U.S. as an immigrant, he was given opportunities that allowed him to find a more prosperous and happy life. In so many ways, our humble beginning and the work ethic and gratitude that goes with it helped shape the culture of our company to this day,” said a memo, which was first reported by the Seattle newspaper The Stranger.
The policy, which temporarily suspended visitors from seven predominately Muslim countries and the refugee settlement in the U.S. as part of an anti-terrorism strategy, was halted by a federal judge in Seattle.
The Trump administration is fighting that ruling, and the case appears destined for the Supreme Court.
Nordstrom executives have denied that the memo in any way related to the decision to stop selling the Ivanka Trump band.
The Ivanka Trump company has said the brand’s sales remain strong.
Corporate image guru Eric Schiffer said independent analytics back up the brand’s claim.
“She’s still selling at Nordstrom, but they are under tremendous pressure. They have a lot of angry women who just want blood from Donald Trump,” said Mr. Schiffer, CEO of Reputation Management Consultants, which specializes in repairing and defending the reputations of Fortune 500 companies and executives.
“You won’t find a lot of people wearing ‘MAGA’ hats walking around in Nordstrom,” he said, referring to Mr. Trump’s campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again.”
The Nordstrom breakup with Ivanka Trump was just the begging of attacks on her brand, Mr. Schiffer predicted, as the president’s opponents find her to be an easy target for venting their outrage.
“Ivanka’s brand is not dead, but the biggest portion will remain overseas,” he said. “She remains hot overseas. She represents successful women. She’s an aspirational figure for many women overseas, especially in Asia.”
⦁ Dave Boyer contributed to this article.