Publication: USA Today

Struggling clothing brand needs more Ivanka, less Trump, mall shoppers say

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February 12, 2017

The Ivanka Trump clothing and accessories brand has been highly visible in headlines and on television this past week. But in North Jersey stores, you have to look pretty hard to find it.

While stores, including Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, still carry the brand, at most retailers it isn’t being given star treatment in the aisles or even its own display racks.

“Ivanka Trump? You mean the dresses?” said a salesclerk at Macy’s in Paramus, when asked about the line. “I think there are some over there, way in the back.” Store employees said the line – which made the news when President Trump assailed Nordstrom on Twitter for dropping the Ivanka brand, and then when his adviser Kellyanne Conway urged supporters to buy it – isn’t triggering boycotts or political battles in Macy’s dressing rooms. Rather, it is being met with something retailers fear far more – a lack of interest.

Marketing experts said the brand’s troubles aren’t just political. The biggest problem facing it, they said, is an identity crisis. The Ivanka Trump brand must address the critical existential questions all celebrity brands must be able to answer – who are you, and what […]

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Retailers install bars, hoping to lure shoppers offline

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July 26, 2016

Work’s out and it’s time for happy hour. Where to go for a stiff drink?

One surprising destination of choice: Urban Outfitters. The hipster retailer has begun to offer customers much more than clothing at certain locations. Now visitors can shop, or just head for its bar area.

Aiming to stand out in a world overflowing with retail shops and online competitors, some chains want to become destinations for diners and drinkers, not just shoppers.

The Urban Outfitters here in Brooklyn, called Space Ninety 8, has two bars — one on the roof and another on the third floor near the men’s department — as well as an Israeli barbecue restaurant. The store doesn’t discourage walking around the clothing displays with a drink in hand.

Urban Outfitters has two other stores with bars — one in Los Angeles and another in Austin.

It’s not alone:

• Barnes & Noble — which already has in-store cafes — plans to open some stores this fall that will include sit-down restaurants and have alcohol on the menu.

• A Target store in Chicago has a Starbucks that serves the coffee chain’s “evenings” menu with wine and beer.

• Accessories retailer Shinola, best known […]

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