The Trump brand takes another hit: Sears and Kmart

Nordstrom. NeimanMarcus. TJ Maxx. And now Sears and Kmart.

Sears Holdings, the company that owns Sears and Kmart retail stores, reportedly announced over the weekend that it would remove 31 Trump-branded items from its website.

The company removed these products as part of a plan to focus on its “most profitable items”, Sears spoke to Brian Hanover, told Reuters.

Hanover told the news agency that items in the Trump Home furniture line have been removed from the company’s website, although they can still be purchased online from third-party suppliers. Neither store sold these items in their physical stores, he said.

Searches of the Sears and KMart websites did not turn up any Trump Home products, except those sold by third-party vendors.

In a statement Monday, spokesman Chris Brathwaite distanced Sears from any political controversy and reiterated that many Trump-branded products are still available through third-party sellers.

“In this case, some products that included a very small number of Trump products were removed from our websites,” he said. “Headlines do not do justice to our company or this specific brand of products we offer through our marketplace sellers.”

Brathwaite added that the company prefers to focus on its business and “leave the politics to others”.

Related: Is Ivanka Trump’s Brand Losing Its Bling?

The move makes Sears the latest to abandon products bearing Trump’s name.

Earlier this month, Nordstrom (JWN) cited brand “performance,” not politics, as the reason she decided to stop wearing Ivanka Trump’s brand of clothing and accessories.

President Trump hit out at the department store on Twitter in retaliation. Nordstrom stock jumped 7% in the first two days following the tweet.

Other stores have also sought to distance themselves from Ivanka Trump’s brand.

Neiman Marcus removed the brand’s landing page from its website and declined to tell CNNMoney whether it plans to keep Ivanka Trump products in stores or summarize online sales in the future.

TJX Companies (TJX)the company that owns TJ Maxx and Marshalls, also said it recently asked workers not to highlight the First Daughter brand in stores.

And retailer Belk announced last week that it planned to remove Ivanka Trump products from its website, but would continue to carry the line in its flagship stores.

Ivanka Trump’s clothing and accessories line has taken a big hit in recent months.

Its brand’s online sales fell 26% in January from a year earlier, according to Slice Intelligence, a retail analytics firm. Slice studied the brand’s sales across five online stores: Nordstrom, Amazon, Zappos, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.

Online sales of the Ivanka brand began to emerge in late 2015, and last month’s numbers appear to be more of a “reality check,” according to Taylor Stanton, Slice’s marketing and communications manager. The brand’s decline in performance was abnormal in light of an uptick in online sales in 2016 in the clothing and accessories category, said Jack Beckwythe, an analyst at Slice.

On the same subject: Kellyanne Conway unrepentant towards Ivanka Trump

The Ivanka Trump brand defended her performance.

Rosemary Young, senior director of marketing at Ivanka Trump, told CNNMoney last week that the brand was growing and saw “significant year-over-year revenue growth in 2016.”

“We believe that the strength of a brand is measured not only by the profits it generates, but also by the integrity it maintains,” Young said.

Retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Amazon (AMZN)Lord and Taylor, Macy’s (M) and Zappos still carry Ivanka Trump products.

Ivanka Trump has taken a leave of absence from her namesake company since her father won the presidency. She has no formal role in administration but is expected to have a voice on issues such as women’s empowerment and child care.

–CNNMoney’s Jackie Wattles contributed to this story.

CNNMoney (New York) First published February 12, 2017: 3:35 p.m. ET