Love J.Crew style, but don’t love the price tags? The company is getting ready to introduce you to J.Crew Mercantile, coming later this month (the first will open at The Shops at Park Lane in Dallas, according to WWD). The store concept is similar to that of the brand’s factory outlets and will sell the same product: pieces created specifically for the off-price stores and available at lower prices than what you’d find in a classic J.Crew. Mercantile, like the outlets, will not sell any mainline Crew. Again, don’t expect to score deep, deep discounts of something you spotted in a catalog six months ago.
The brand has been suffering some financial woes as of late, with a reported net loss of $462.4 million for the quarter that ended in May. Staff was aggressively trimmed this summer too, including the replacement of head of women’s design, Tom Mora, with Somsack Sikhounmuong (brought over from Madewell). All of that shake-up, mixed with poor numbers, might explain why now was the time to pull the trigger on Mercantile.
Previously, the company grabbed attention when it registered the name Mercantile back in May of last year. Buzz started that it was all for a lower-priced line (which, ahem, it turned out to be), but J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler wasn’t having it, telling reporters “it’s kind of been distorted beyond the reality of what it is.”