Props to J. Crew for being so forthright in their response. Rarely have I seen such a direct reply from a major retailer.
It would be fun and interesting to hear a continued discussion:
Where do you see your customers going instead? Abercrombie, Gap, Department Stores, Higher End?
For my taste/money, I think they need to go higher end. If I saw things comparable to the shorts/kakhis I see from Mason's, or the sport shirts I get form Tailorbyrd, rugger, robert talbott, etc. I would be more interested.
But the truth might be they are keeping their stuff too high end, and they need the mall-store customers and should lower their prices to steal business from A&F and Gap.
My gut feeling is that women are more likely to want quantity over quality because their fashions change more often.
What difference do you see in men's / women's trends recently? Are you keeping the women's line more current?