Ivanka Trump’s clothing likely to be ‘given away or sold at fire-sale prices’ after the brand shutters

Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand may be shuttering, but who will take all the remaining merchandise bearing the senior adviser’s name on the label?

Gary Stibel, founder and chief executive of New England Consulting Group, a management consulting firm, says the items will have a different future from ordinary celebrity brands.

“Remnant product is usually given away or sold at fire sale prices,” he said. “This will be an exception.”

Stibel thinks the merchandise “will sell for several times the current price,” whether or not people like the clothes or the Trumps.

“The fact that her products weren’t selling that well is a fact,” Stibel said, blaming issues like the brand’s marketing. “President Trump, his daughter, and the brand have a very strong following amongst a tribe (not a small tribe) that will support anything that a Trump supported. They’ll pay a premium for products that bear that name and are scarce.”

News broke Tuesday that the Ivanka Trump clothing brand would be shutting down, with its namesake leader choosing to focus on government policy. Her recent efforts have centered on workforce development.

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The clothing brand launched in 2014 and “soared” in 2016, the year of the presidential election, according to The Wall Street Journal. But it also caused controversy. Nordstrom Inc. was one of the retailers that stopped selling the brand, citing poor sales. The brand had 18 employees.

Usually when a brand closes, items will end up at off-price retailers, like Marshalls, part of the TJX Cos. TJX, +0.69%  portfolio, or be marked down at significantly at retailers like Macy’s Inc. M, +2.06%  where the merchandise is sold.

Brett Rose, founder and chief executive of United National Consumer Suppliers (UNCS), a company focused on the global distribution of manufacturers overstocks and closeouts, doesn’t see many reasons why this brand wouldn’t be handled that way, even with the Trump name attached.

“Certainly, some people will collect the merchandise. There’s a collector for anything,” said Rose.

But he also sees the value of the brand, and leaves the door open for a revival.

“Maybe for now it will get shelved, but I don’t think it’s the last we’ll see of Ivanka,” he said.

Ivanka Trump’s brand is part of the portfolio of licensed and proprietary brands operated by G-III Apparel Group Ltd. GIII, +1.32%  MarketWatch reached out to G-III, which had no comment on the matter. G-III shares are down 0.7% for the week to date, but are up 27.2% for the year so far.

The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.91%  has gained 6.5% for the period.

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, thinks a future relaunch is possible.

“While the brand will disappear in the short term, the copyrights and intellectual property will be retained,” Saunders wrote in a note.

He attributes the shutdown to a lack of time for Ivanka to dedicate to the brand and the “political challenges” that the company faces.

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“Views on the brand have become highly polarized and it has become a lightning rod for protests and boycotts. While the company is still viable, doing business has become far more challenging and these problems will only increase,” he said.

As for the brand going forward, it’s ultimately difficult to say what will happen, said UNCS’s Rose.

“She was a merchant before she was a politician. Same with the president,” he said. “It’s a new political time. There’s nothing in history to say how this will truly play out.”

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