Little doubt can exist that Mickey Drexler performed a turnaround J. Crew. When he took over the retailer in 2003, the brand seemed headed to the retailing graveyard. In the next seven years, Drexler repositioned J. Crew toward a preppier look and refreshed the store layout. J. Crew appeared better suited to compete with Ralph Lauren's stores and brands instead of Gap. When J. Crew went private in 2011, TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners valued the retailer's goodwill at $1.7 billion. Four years later, that figured was reduced to zero. Shelly Banjo and Gillain Tan provide the money thought:
Its older customers -- the only ones who can afford its high price points -- have aged out of its casual collegiate wear, and its younger shoppers have moved on from the preppy style to cheaper, fast-fashion brands like H&M and Zara.
Smoke appears to emanate from J. Crew's 11 percent decrease in comparative sales, which is the fifth-straight of quarterly declines in comps. The fire rages in its cuts. Simply put, too many Americans cannot fit into J. Crew's apparel products. To reverse this decline, Drexler and Jenna Lyons should accept that more shoppers want size 18 and than 000.