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The Ascendancy of J. Crew - all good?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by TCN, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. GBer

    GBer Senior member

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    Seems like they've tried to upgrade their preppy/ Dawson's Creek college look to a more sophisticated look as their client base grows up (= more disposable income to pay more) and looks to dress in something more than nubucks and chinos.

    I doubt in the early 90s you would've seen $600 Alden cordovan at JCrew. Interesting, but they are completely in another territory - no longer niche. Is it a good move in these economic times? Let's see.
     
  2. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    Is it a good move in these economic times? Let's see.
    This is what I'm curious about. Other retailers seem to have taken a more conservative approach over the last year while J.Crew has taken the opposite.
     
  3. a-rock

    a-rock Senior member

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    If you guys are worried about this degrading the exclusivity of your brands, you need to find more exclusive brands.
    I'm not so sure JCrew collabs are an attempt to bring those brands to the mainstream, as it is a way of seeking the approval of fashionistas. Most of those collabs, aside from more basic items like Levis and Topsiders, are very hard to find in most stores unless you're near certain flagship stores. On SF, we discuss JCrew carrying Alden's. With friends, I simply hear, "damn, JCrew carries some carry expensive shoes!" What the company really did in the last half of the decade was to really woo the media, icon, celebrities, and other insiders of the fashion world. Once these people found it acceptable, even cool, to rock JCrew, it took off with the masses. The idea wasn't really to sell boatloads of Aldens, as it was more to promote the popularity longwing bluchers. What they end up selling a boatload of are their own JCrew branded Gifford shoes or even the lower end rubber-soled bluchers (although maybe these have been discontinued). I really haven't heard anybody who wasn't already a clotheshorse prior to rediscovering JCrew actually understand any of these items. For most, those collab items are merely a reference for the styles and looks they represent. To them, Belstaffs are the biker jackets. Red Wings are the shoes for the lumberjack look. Barbours are the fancy barn jackets. Longwings and wingtips are all oxfords. Especially irritating, my wife refers to any shoe with brogueing as an oxford. Since they're popular with women now, she's in the market for a pair of "oxfords" too. So I wouldn't worry about these collaboration brands being too mainstream.
     
  4. GBer

    GBer Senior member

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    Buy their stock (NYSE JCG) and tell me how it goes! LOL

    This is what I'm curious about. Other retails seem to have taken a more conservative approach over the last year while J.Crew has taken the opposite.
     
  5. TCN

    TCN Senior member

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    This is what I'm curious about. Other retails seem to have taken a more conservative approach over the last year while J.Crew has taken the opposite.

    I can't imagine they even stock enough of the stuff to make a HUGE difference, but perhaps it draws people in who then leave with "chinos" and "hoodies".
     
  6. UpperWestie

    UpperWestie Senior member

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    I'm not so sure JCrew collabs ....

    +1

    I'm interested in seeing what these items contribute to profits. I suspect the volumes are tiny and are break even at best. Its a good marketing strategy. Borrow established branding to up your own.

    I'll tell you what though, their edition of the globetrotter luggage is pretty sweet.

    Mickey Drex is the ultimate merchandiser.
     
  7. CMD.EXE

    CMD.EXE Senior member

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    Thoughtful points.

    Based on what I've read on the world's leading mens clothing forvm...teh StyleForvm...whether J. Crew x C&J succeeds or fails depends on whether one can perforate them after buying them.

    - B



    I believe you mean the success depends on penetration, not perforation. As shown in the thread related to perforations, ie adding them and/or expanding them, one can easily perforate most anything, provided he has a drill and the corresponding drill bit. Penetration, on the other hand, is a lot more tricky.
     
  8. GBer

    GBer Senior member

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    What got me thinking about this was finding out that Crockett & Jones just signed on to the program.

    Strange considering they already have an Alden collaboration. Will they be stopping with Alden? Frankly I believe this price range is beyond the budget of most of their target audience. Go visit a store in you local mall and you will see most of the items sold are probably staples such as shirts, pants, etc.

    Suggestion - go read their annual report and news releases, I'm sure you can find some info there. Then report back to us.
     
  9. TCN

    TCN Senior member

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    I believe you mean the success depends on penetration, not perforation. As shown in the thread related to perforations, ie adding them and/or expanding them, one can easily perforate most anything, provided he has a drill and the corresponding drill bit. Penetration, on the other hand, is a lot more tricky.

    Penetration isn't his strong suit.
     
  10. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    "Paying your dues" permeates everything. People are people. By the way, I hope people are taking this post with the amount of tongue in cheek that it was meant with. "Anyway", but never "anyways".
    J Crew will put a few of these on the web, but won't sell any there. They have one or two stores (Like the awesome one in TriBeca) that sell this stuff for real. I'm sure they will move less volume by a magnitude of 3 or 4 than C&J than RL and BB combined while they had contracts. Doesn't seem to be a big concern to me.
     
  11. lee_44106

    lee_44106 Senior member

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    Someone please post a new thread or revive this thread when J. Crew pairs with Rubinacci.
     
  12. TRINI

    TRINI Senior member

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    Someone please post a new thread or revive this thread when J. Crew pairs with Rubinacci.

    J. Crubinacci?
     
  13. intent

    intent Senior member

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    J. Crubinacci?
    OneCrew?
     
  14. otc

    otc Senior member

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    No issue with j.crew carrying the good stuff. This can only be a good thing as it gets the good companies more exposure and opens up better chances for discounts--jcrew has sales, coupons, and giftcards trading below par.

    If Jcrew wants to stock an alden or a belstaff, thats great (even if its an alden or a belstaff made just for them). The only potential problem is where the real "devaluing" comes in. When j.crew makes a shirt with thomas mason fabric (or the previous poster's Loro Piana items) but makes it to j.crew standards, it can be a slipperly slope. What happens when they contract them to make a low grade fabric and put their name on it? What happens to the quality shirtmakers who use better thomas mason fabrics? J.crew probably sells more shirts in all fabrics than are made yearly in thomas mason fabrics and as some of those sales switch to being j.crewxthomas mason, what is it going to do to production at thomas mason?
     
  15. Bill Smith

    Bill Smith Senior member

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    I look forward to J. Crew following Brooks Brothers example and setting up some stores in Canada. While I have not purchased from them in a while (hate being fiscally raped by Canada Revenue Agency/Border Services on duties every time I place an order), I would be a regular customer if they did open some stores north of the international imaginary line.
     
  16. jcru

    jcru Member

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    For the most part, I believe this post has contained thoughtful discussion on an interesting development in the retail sector during this economic recession: as many of us here in this forum have observed high-end retail suffer and low-end retail post moderate gains, JCrew seems to have been reinventing itself with a moderate investment in its own product, relying more heavily on a linkage approach to growth. Of course, the cache of the luxury brands that contract with JCrew has the potential to suffer if a perceived "middling"occurs as result of their association with this more mass-market retailer; yet for this market, a symbiotic condition seems to have emerged: wherein luxury brands get increased exposure due to the link and JCrew gets to build on its evolving taste. Indeed, it could be for its growing reputation as a curator of brands -- as well as for the increased quality of its own product -- that the linkage approach could have the greatest impact on JCrew as a new model of the 19th century department store, as the rotation of products on offer (re-)creates a compelling shopping experience.
     
  17. cbarr

    cbarr Well-Known Member

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    Of course, the cache of the luxury brands that contract with JCrew has the potential to suffer if a perceived "middling"occurs as result of their association with this more mass-market retailer; yet for this market, a symbiotic condition seems to have emerged: wherein luxury brands get increased exposure due to the link and JCrew gets to build on its evolving taste.

    Data please, showing how any luxury brand has benefited (in terms of their core business, not just the schlock Jcrew commissioned) as a result of this supposed symbiosis.

    Keeping in mind that Alden is not a luxury brand. They're a workhouse brand held over from the days of old-school thrift, where you bought things once, paid more, and used them to death.
     
  18. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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  19. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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  20. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Personally I've never understood why someone buys anything from an intermediary (J Crew) when it is available directly from the source (assuming the source offers retail, and most of those mentioned do).


    Buying something from J. Crew is a bit like depending upon hearsay. When you hear something from the source ... you know what was said ... when you hear something via an intermediary ... you really can't be certain of what was actually said.
     

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