As you're likely aware, North American department store chain Nordstrom has been in the news quite a bit lately for reasons other than its winter sale and new designer incubator. After the retailer dropped Ivanka Trump's clothing line from its stores — a move that itself made headlines across the web — her father took to Twitter to malign the Seattle-based company's decision.
Kellyanne Conway also took it upon herself to (illegally) encourage people to buy Ivanka's products on national television. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer subsequently explained that Trump's tweet was in response to what he felt was "an attack on his daughter." Because there aren't more important things going on? But I digress.
Nordstrom made clear at the time that the decision was motivated by sales performance, not politics, but the Trump-Nordstrom feud was covered everywhere. And of course, it's worth noting the existence of the #GrabYourWallet campaign, which calls for consumers to boycott retailers that sell Trump family products. Which begs the question: How, if at all, did this impact the department store's business? We got something of an answer Thursday afternoon, when a brave analyst asked Nordstrom executives about it during the company's fourth quarter and fiscal 2016 earnings conference call. Willing to comment, Nordstrom Co-President Pete Nordstrom said that the impact of the Tweets in question and resulting press was "negligible" and "not discernible one way or the other."
It's interesting because Nordstrom's decision, and Trump's ensuing commentary, incited action by members of both his supporters and his detractors: Many of the former called for conservatives to boycott the stores, while the latter, including some celebrities, were quick to sing Nordstrom's praises — and in Chelsea Handler's case, drop some cash there (as seen in the above photo). Perhaps the two cancelled each other out, or maybe it's still too early to know which side prevailed.
Personally, I've always been obsessed with Nordstrom — it's based out of my hometown, its customer service is unparalleled and its offerings have only improved in the 10 years since I moved to (and left) a city that didn't have one (but will get one next year!). And the Ivanka news made me love the company even more. But, again, Nordstrom was likely more interested in protecting its bottom line than making a political statement; and as The Cut pointed out, though Nordstrom's decision points to the effectiveness of boycotts like the #GrabYourWallet campaign, it's worthwhile to remember that simply shopping there isn't a political act — and our money is likely better spent with non-profit organizations dedicated to fighting Trump's politics.
Ivanka Trump stepped down from her fashion label in January.