J. Crew to Close 39 Stores As the Retail Apocalypse Continues

Image via Getty
Image via Getty

J. Crew announced that the company will be closing 39 stores by the end of January, which is nearly double the number it originally planned to close.

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Sales have been falling for J.Crew, with the company reporting that sales at its shops which were open for at least a year fell 12 percent this quarter, according to CNN. J.Crew also lost $161 million in the first nine months of the year, which the company blamed on its dramatic transformation plan that laid off 250 people.

Things have been bad at J.Crew for awhile now. Last November the company shuttered its bridal section and this April former creative director and president Jenna Lyons stepped down from her position after 26 years with the company. I bet if you’ve walked into a J.Crew recently you might be able to see this identity crisis at work, considering every time I walk in, every item seems to be a paper-thin cardigan that looks like it will fall apart after three wears.

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Retail in general is unsurprisingly horrible right now as companies continue to scale back. Stores like the Gap, Sears, American Eagle, Guess and pretty much all your favorite mall staples have cut back this year and closed stores. And there are many reasons for 2017's retail-apocalypse, but one thing’s for sure: it’s pushing us aggressively towards an online-only shopping future.

I’m not looking forward to it. I like trying things on in stores and actually finding out in person when something is an itchy poly-blend, which would have otherwise gone unnoticed in a well-styled photo (because the internet is sorcery.) But, hey, if the idea of receiving new sneakers every six months by drone appeals to you, then you have a lot to look forward to.

Pop Culture Reporter, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

Retail stores did it to themselves. If they did a better job of creating a positive in-store experience and quality product, we would all be more inclined to shop there. J. Crew is expensive, low quality, and their stores here in NYC are so snobby you’d think you were walking into Barney’s.

Example: Madewell, J. Crew’s sister store, which is doing very well. Their stores are well-organized, well-curated, their branding is on point, their people are nice, and while not exactly cheap, their jeans do spectacular things with your butt and are, IMO, worth the price tag. Also, online companies like Everlane are opening brick and mortar, but they are doing so in a very calculated way.