In a new sign that the Trumps are perfectly comfortable mixing public service with private gain, Ivanka Trump just opened a brick-and-mortar store in the lobby of Trump Tower.
It’s Ivanka’s second attempt at launching a physical store. In 2007, she opened a store for her fine jewelry brand, but it shuttered in 2011. More broadly, Ivanka has struggled to keep her brands afloat since Donald Trump was elected president. The #GrabYourWallet boycott frequently targeted her shoe, clothing, and accessories lines. Many retailers, including Nordstrom, have dropped her products from their stores.
Ivanka Trump says she has handed over the day-to-day management of her brand to Abigail Klem, a trusted employee who has shepherded her brand for years. However, the Trumps have still not divested from any of their companies, which has raised ethical questions about whether they are benefitting monetarily from the presidency.
This new store, which is launching just in time for the holidays, is perhaps an effort to breathe new life into her brand. While Ivanka herself has faced a lot of criticism here in the United States, she continues to be seen as a celebrity in some other countries, including Japan. The Trump Tower location, which is small, will capitalize on foot traffic from tourists. According to Bloomberg, visitors are already making a beeline to take selfies.