June 11, 2015

J. Crew: -10% Comps

Did you read this one (click here)? I gave J. Crew a lot of praise a few years ago, communicating how it was "all about the merchandise" and they were clearly succeeding on the merchandising front.

There are three mega-trends that are dominating my client discussions:

  1. Can we increase Merchandise Productivity today?
  2. How will we find New Customers in 2020?
  3. How do we avoid the growing number of Tolls the mobile/social folks are placing on our businesses?
J. Crew's challenges deal with (1) and (2). Fashion often results in missteps and wild productivity swings, and fixes are time-lagged, meaning that if problems are fixed today, results won't be seen for six months, a year, or more. Just as important, with retail moving down-market at a breathtaking rate (Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy as examples), how does a company like J. Crew find new customers for the mid-market placement they occupy?

Again ... three mega-trends are dominating client discussions:

  1. Can we increase Merchandise Productivity today?
  2. How will we find New Customers in 2020?
  3. How do we avoid the growing number of Tolls the mobile/social folks are placing on our businesses?