Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Donald Trump, may be facing backlash from clothing retailers who are dropping her clothing line, but her signature perfume hasn’t suffered the same fate, hitting number one on Amazon Saturday for the third day in a row.
Ivanka Trump Eau de Parfum Spray For Women was number one on Amazon’s list of bestselling fragrances and perfume, suggesting, says MarketWatch, that the “‘resistance economy‘ to boycott products associated with the family of President Trump can help a brand as well as hurt it.”
The first daughter’s retail line of clothes, shoes and accessories has been dropped by a number of retailers, including high-end shops such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, in recent months due to what most outlets have called sagging sales. Other more mainstream outlets such as Sears and TJ Maxx have also been cutting the younger Trump’s line from store racks and throwing out marketing materials.
An activist group known as the #GrabYourWallet campaign may have played a role in the retailers’ decisions. The group has been actively calling for a boycott of Ivanka’s and all other Trump-related merchandise since October 2016. The effort began on Twitter with the release the of the “Billy Bush tapes,” recordings of Trump telling a reporter he grabbed women by their genitals.
Most of the retailers dropping Ivanka’s line dismiss the idea that their decision is based on politics, insisting instead that stock is evaluated periodically and decisions to retain or drop lines are based on performance. “We continually review our assortment and the performance of the brands we carry. And we make adjustments as part of our normal course of business operations,” a Belk spokesperson told BuzzFeed News in early February.
The trouble surrounding Ivanka’s clothing line prompted President Trump to tweet his support for his daughter in February, and led Democrats to write a letter urging the U.S. Office of Government Ethics to discipline Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway after she appeared on cable news and urged consumers to buy Ivanka’s clothing.
Ryann Reynolds-McIlnay, assistant professor of merchandising management at Oregon State University College of Business in Corvallis, told MarketWatch that the rapid response to calls for boycotts of Trump paraphernalia is largely related to the outsized role social media plays in people’s lives.
“It is due to the proliferation, speed, and reach of social media that we perceive the resistance economy as a growing phenomenon in 2017,” Reynolds-McIlnay said. She also noted that, as Ivanka’s perfume sales boom has proved, the politically-driven nature of the #GrabYourWallet campaign can work in both directions, sometimes hurting sales, and sometimes helping them.