Ivanka Trump’s brand is about to open a store in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, marking her second foray into brick-and-mortar commerce in the U.S.
The location on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue will open on Thursday — just in time for the last rush of holiday shoppers, according to a person familiar with the plans. The space is small, but it receives a steady stream of tourists who throng to the site for selfies.
The move follows a tumultuous year for the first daughter’s brand, which became more polarizing to consumers after the election of Donald Trump. The business has been threatened with boycotts and lost the support of early retail partner Nordstrom Inc. With the new shop — and its e-commerce site — the company is trying to bounce back as more of a direct-to-consumer brand.
The company also has been shifting toward more affordable items, something that’s reflected in the new store’s selection of handbags and other accessories. Earlier this year, the business discontinued its fine jewelry line.
Business and Politics
Ivanka Trump, who serves as a White House adviser, has been walking the line between policy and business since her father was elected president. Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, which handles her trademarks, has continued to seek expansion opportunities, while Trump hotels in Washington and Vancouver each operate an Ivanka Trump trademarked spa.
She has stepped away from day-to-day management of her brand, which is now headed by Abigail Klem. Ivanka Trump transferred assets to a trust, but she hasn’t divested from her companies.
The Manhattan shop is her second branded store in the U.S. Her first was a fine jewelry boutique on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in 2007, which moved to the SoHo neighborhood in 2011. That location closed in 2015, according to the New York Times. In 2013, the brand opened a luxury store in a high-end mall in downtown Beijing, but that was shuttered, too.
Opening dedicated storefronts is a popular approach for brands that have typically relied on other retailers for sales as mall traffic declines and shoppers’ preference for e-commerce grows. Branded stores allow companies to bypass department stores and other outlets and gives them control over products’ presentation and other areas.
Ivanka Trump’s brand licenses the name to wholesale companies such as G-III Apparel Group Ltd., which make the goods and sell them to stores such as Lord Taylor and DSW. But the company has also moved to sell to consumers directly via the IvankaTrump.com website.
Trademarks for the stylized “IT” letters on the storefront, which feature Ivanka’s full name below, have been registered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in recent weeks for use on baby products, bedding, fashion jewelry and tech accessories, according to government filings.