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Sales of First Daughter Ivanka Trump's merchandise at Nordstrom's had tumbled sharply prior to the 2016 election, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, which hastened the retail giant's decision to drop the brand.
Nordstrom's move triggered a furious partisan back-and-forth this week, with President Donald Trump and his senior counselor Kellyanne Conway using official channels to criticize the company, with critics suggesting they may have run afoul of government ethics rules.
The Journal, citing internal data from the Seattle-based department store chain, indicates sales of Ms. Trump's fashion line had plummeted by nearly a third in the last fiscal year. In particular, that dive quickened just before November's U.S. presidential election.
The data reviewed by The Journal found that Ivanka Trump footwear and apparel sales dropped by more than 70 percent in the last three weeks of October 2016, compared to the same period the year prior. The decline has slowed since, with sales down 26 percent in January.
Nordstrom would not comment for the Journal story. Its decision to drop Ms. Trump's line — which it has previously attributed to slow sales, not politics — caused a firestorm on social media and backlash from her father and his supporters. "My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by Nordstrom," the president tweeted on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Conway used a televised appearance to encourage people to buy Ivanka Trump's brand, a move that led White House officials to "counsel" her in response.
Representatives for Ivanka Trump's brand said overall sales for all merchandise actually increased in 2016 by 21 percent. In addition to Nordstrom, the brand was available at other department stores such as Bloomingdale's, Macy's and Lord & Taylor.
Read more about this report at The Wall Street Journal.