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It was a little over a year ago when we first heard about the J. Crew Mercantile—a more affordable sub-brand that was said to compliment the retailer’s main stores.
Since then, J. Crew has been selling this less expensive line out of its J. Crew Factory locations and was only available to Factory shoppers; however, according to Bloomberg, officials have decided to launch another chain of stores that will specifically sell the cheaper goods. And we’ll see the first shop open later this month.
In a statement released today, a J. Crew spokesperson explained that the Mercantile will house the same products designed for and sold at the brand’s outlet locations. The plan was formulated by CEO Mickey Drexler, who pulled off a similar strategy while working at the Gap. You see, he wanted to create a more affordable retail space that appealed to the same demographic as the Gap’s, so he decided to launch Old Navy. And while the Gap is currently struggling like nobody’s business, Old Navy is doing just fine.
Perhaps he’ll be able to achieve the same success again. We all heard about J. Crew’s plummeting sales, so it makes sense for the brand to offer a less expensive option for its customers.
Will it work? Only time will tell.
The first J. Crew Mercantile will open in late July at The Shops at Park Lane in Dallas. Spokeswoman Margot Fooshee said there will be additional stores opening in malls and strip centers in the future.