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Hullabaloo


Thursday, April 27, 2017

 
Unless they're buying favors the rich don't want anything to do with the Trump brand

by digby





If you're wondering why the Trumps are now looking to do deals in places like Oklahoma and Texas, this might explain it:

President Donald Trump’s election may have all the diplomats clamoring to stay at his Washington, D.C., hotel, but his controversial campaign’s harsh rhetoric and administration’s agenda have made many potential customers uneasy about giving their business to Trump’s properties. Residents of Manhattan’s Trump Place successfully changed their property’s name, two celebrity chefs famously backed out of D.C.’s Trump International Hotel and others were unwilling to replace them, and Trump’s new line of hotels won’t bear his name. Then last December, a month after three NBA teams announced they wouldn’t stay at his hotels, members of the Cleveland Cavaliers (including Black Lives Matter supporter LeBron James) refused to stay at the Trump Soho. Now, that hotel’s restaurant operator, Koi, an international chainlet of sushi spots for beautiful people, is shuttering its outpost there. But this isn’t a closing as usual. It’s collateral damage from the rise of Trump.

“Obviously, the restaurant is closing because business is down. I don’t think anyone would volunteer to close a business if they were making money,” Suzanne Chou, Koi Group’s general counsel, says with a laugh. “Beyond that, I would prefer not to speculate as to why, but obviously since the election it’s gone down.”

[...]

“Before Trump won we were doing great. There were a lot of people we had, our regulars, who’d go to the hotel but are not affiliated with Trump,” says Jonathan Grullon, a busser and host who has worked at the restaurant for a year and a half. “And they were saying if he wins, we are not coming here anymore.”

Ricardo Aca, who worked at the restaurant for four years until this February, concurs, noting twice that “the Kardashians stopped coming.” Following the election, Aca says that business dipped so much that he had to take a second part-time job while he was still working there. As a server in the hotel’s Koi-managed lounge, he saw his hourly earnings fall from about $20 to $15 an hour. And Grullon says he’s making almost $200 dollars less each week and that he, too, has had to get a second job.

According to Grullon, Koi now has just ten service employees, including those in the kitchen. Some staff started walking away once business evaporated, and now that news of the closing is public, more have started to leave. The dining room is often 30 to 40 percent full and never gets past 50 to 60 percent capacity. During lunch, they’ll serve fewer than 30 people in a restaurant that can seat 140.

“We’ve been getting cut all the time. There is no reason for us to be there,” Grullon says. “They say they’re going to close June 18, but I think it’s going to be sooner.”

So much for job creating.

As I wrote earlier, the boys and Ivanka are very worried about this. Their brand is seriously damaged for anyone who isn't trying to buy favors from the president. And that world is pretty small, certainly too small to support an empire.

But they have a lot of experience hawking cheap gaudy consumer items to poor people so they should be ok in the end as long as Trump's voter base stays with him. But their high end businesses may just be taking a fatal hit.

Update: Their cheap consumer goods are too:
On Monday, it was reported that Ivanka Trump apparel was being sold with an “Adrienne Vittadini Studio” label in the US discount chain Stein Mart. The company that makes Trump’s clothes under licence, G-III, then admitted it had been responsible for relabelling the items. 
So now even the people who paid to use Ivanka Trump’s name are secretly removing it? Yes, although we don’t know why. Apparently, it is common to remove or replace labels on high-end fashion items that don’t sell, in order to prevent the brand being seen in discount stores.
Her goods have always been in discount stores. (I know this because I shop in them.) The only reason they would do this is because her stuff isn't even selling there.


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