J.Crew’s perilous slide into fashion obscurity continues. Their sales fell to the tune of almost $800 million. Tales of shifty sizing and poor quality persist. And now their ‘retailer goodwill’ has plunged through the floor. Apparently, no one is feeling good about buying J.Crew.
There was some hope earlier in the year that J.Crew would return to its roots. But their Spring 2016 Collection is full of culottes, poly-blend, and sack dresses. They also seem more interested in designer collaborations than bringing their former shoppers back into the stores.
CEO Mickey Drexler seems to think that customers just see bad fashion as an opportunity for a discount, not a continuing disappointment that has us shopping elsewhere. And retail-watchers don’t think the brand will bounce back anytime soon.
“In a sense we believe that J Crew and its management are not sufficiently humble about the brand’s current status and are rather divorced from the realities of the retail marketplace.”
Yet, many customers are still yelling into the void praying that the J.Crew ‘powers that be’ are listening. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, J.Crew’s customers want quality and style. Reviving J.Crew will mean returning to the days of classic styles with just a hint of edge, and leaving the ‘canary shearling lining’ on the cutting room floor.
Jenna Lyons should teach a class on how to survive being an ’embattled’ designer. Marissa Webb didn’t even last a full year at Banana, and we’ll see how long Zac Posen survives at Brooks Brothers. But as long as J.Crew ponies up the cash to magazine editors, bloggers, and stylists, people will keep singing Lyons’ praises.
You know, except for the thousands of women who no longer shop at J.Crew.