What's In Store

Belk to keep Ivanka Trump line at flagship stores, but not website

Ivanka Trump dresses at the Belk store in SouthPark mall
Ivanka Trump dresses at the Belk store in SouthPark mall Charlotte Observer

Following a tweet from President Donald Trump blasting Nordstrom for cutting his daughter’s apparel line, Charlotte-based Belk said it will keep selling Ivanka Trump’s merchandise at its 22 flagship stores, though the brand is no longer available on its website.

Days after Trump’s line disappeared from the websites of Belk and other retailers, the company issued a statement thanking customers who had expressed their views about the brand. Several who reached out to the Observer this week voiced frustration about the move, which they saw as politically motivated.

“We welcome and pay close attention to feedback from our customers. We continually review our assortment and the performance of the brands we carry. We make adjustments as part of our normal course of business operations,” the retailer said in a statement posted Wednesday.

“In this regard, we are no longer carrying Ivanka Trump branded merchandise on our website, but are continuing to offer the brand at our flagship stores,” the company said.

Belk operates 22 flagship stores, including the one at SouthPark mall. These locations are about 160,000 square feet or larger, meet minimum volume requirements and have a product assortment that reflects “the best of Belk,” the retailer says.

At Belk in SouthPark this week, an employee said Trump’s dresses “sell fantastically.” And following the disappearance of Trump merchandise from Belk’s website, one shopper emailed the Observer to say she planned to “cut up” her Belk credit card over the matter.

Seattle-based Nordstrom last week announced plans to cut Trump’s brand, citing sluggish sales. Others such as Neiman Marcus soon followed suit. The parent of T.J. Maxx has reportedly told employees not to display Ivanka Trump goods separately.

On Wednesday, Donald Trump responded, tweeting that his daughter “has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom.” The retailer’s shares, however, shrugged off the criticism, closing up 4 percent at $44.53.

An Ivanka Trump representative said last week that the brand is expanding, although Ivanka Trump has said she would take a leave of absence from her clothing business as well as the Trump organization.

The Associated Press contributed.