Editor's Blog

Ivanka Trump, and why reputation is king

Can you imagine if your own father had so many critics, and ignited such visceral disdain, that merely bearing his name could become toxic to your own business?

Such must be the questions that first daughter Ivanka Trump is grappling with in these, the first few months of her father Donald’s presidency. It’s hard to say whether or not her lines were pulled by American retailer Nordstrom over The Donald’s politics, or because – as Nordstrom claims – sales were underperforming.

But it sure as eggs provided fodder for the liberal media to insinuate the former. To tie this to jewellery: this month brought further news about Ivanka’s business activities, namely that her firm is discontinuing its fine jewellery line to focus on the more affordable stuff.

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It’s a private company, so no-one really knows whether she has taken a hit or indeed if sales have rocketed due to the huge exposure that the Trump family has had over the last 18 months. But the question of reputation that it poses is an important one. It’s why the family-owned, high street jeweller is such an institution in the UK.

The best jewellers enjoy repeat business across generations – a achievement wrought by spending decades building trust, cultivating a name for expertise and never faltering on service. In many ways, the jewellery world is unique among retailers for this characterisation: in few other product categories are consumers so dependent on the honesty and integrity of the business selling to them.

Even when market conditions are turbulent – as they surely are with gold playing up again in recent months – it’s worth remembering that when things level out, good jewellers are amongst the most respected purveyors of anything on the high street.

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