About J. CREW OPERATING CORP.

The crews appearing in the glossy pages of J. Crew catalogs are far from motley. The retailer is known for its preppy fashions, including jeans, khakis, and other basic (but pricey) items sold to young professionals through its catalogs, websites, and nearly 520 retail and factory stores across the US under the J. Crew, and Madewell banners. Madewell is a women's-only collection of hip, casual clothes. Outside of the US, the retailer also boasts 32 stores in Canada, London, Hong Kong, and Paris. The American retailer sourced about 98% of its merchandise from factories outside of the US in fiscal 2016 (ended January 30); 65% of which were sourced from China and Hong Kong.

Operations

J. Crew Factory stores are located primarily in large outlet malls and sell a specific line of merchandise tailored after products sold in the previous season at J. Crew retail stores and online. About 53% of the retailer's total sales came from women's apparel sales in fiscal 2016, while Men's and Children's apparel sales generated 24% and 7% of total sales, respectively. Accessories brought in the remainder of the retailer's total sales.

The company's fast-growing Madewell line offers women's apparel, including a new line of suits, that is priced 20% to 30% lower than J. Crew merchandise. As at August 2016, the company operated 287 J. Crew retail stores, 108 Madewell stores, and 170 factory stores, mostly in the US.

Geographic Reach

New York-based J. Crew boasts nearly 520 stores in 44 US states and the District of Columbia, with nearly half of its stores located across the states of California, New York, Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The US market accounts for essentially all of the retailer's sales.

Beyond the US, it operates two stores in Paris; 19 stores in three Canadian provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario; seven stores in London; and three stores in Hong Kong. J. Crew's e-commerce site is active in 100 countries.

Sales and Marketing

The retailer relies on the J. Crew catalog as the primary vehicle for marketing and advertising. The catalog, which drives in-store as well as direct sales, utilizes high-quality photography and art direction, to burnish the J. Crew brand. The company spent $48.5 million on catalog advertising in fiscal 2016, compared to $47.4 million and $51.6 million in fiscal 2015 and 2014, respectively.

Beyond the book, the company relies on online, print, and outdoor advertising. The retailer also offers a private-label credit card that accounts for about 15% of its total net sales. The chain's customers are affluent, college-educated, professional and style-conscious women and men. All told, J.Crew spent $71.1 million on advertising costs in fiscal 2016, up from $63.3 million and $51.5 million in fiscal 2015 and 2014, respectively

The retailer sources its products either through buying agents or by purchasing merchandise directly from trading companies and manufacturers within the US and overseas.

Financial Performance

J. Crew credits its on-target fashion sense and lean inventories for its strong sales growth in recent years. However, the company's net revenues decreased in fiscal 2016 by 3% to $2.51 billion due to a decrease in revenues from the J.Crew segment.
 
The revenue from J.Crew segment declined by 6%, primarily driven by a decrease in sales of J.Crew women's apparel, specifically knits, sweaters, and shorts.
 
In fiscal 2016, the company's net loss increased by 89% to $1.24 billion due to lower net revenues and higher impairment losses, related to the write down value of goodwill, intangible assets, and certain long-lived assets.

Operating cash inflow decreased by 14% to $135.55 million.

Strategy

J. Crew has been aggressively expanding its store network across the US, adding 53 new retail, factory, and Madwell stores in fiscal 2015 after opening 50 locations during the prior year. Indeed, from 2012 through 2014, the retailer grew its total store base by 25%, from 401 to 504 stores. As part of this expansion, J. Crew has been introducing more of its Madewell and factory stores for price-sensitive shoppers as consumers have become more thrifty in recent years.

In an attempt to boost sales, J. Crew has also been expanding its direct and retail store businesses internationally. The chain opened its first two J. Crew stores in Paris in 2015 after opening stores in Hamilton Place and London in 2014 and 2013, respectively, and is looking to expand to other countries in Europe and Asia.

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J. CREW OPERATING CORP.

770 Brdwy Fl 11 & 12 Flr 11
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 1 (212) 209-2500
Fax: 1 (212) 209-8735

Stats

  • Employer Type: Public
  • Exec V Pres: T Gardner
  • Vice President: Tracy Gardner
  • Vice President: Nicholas Lamberti

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY