Friday, March 27, 2015

Seek & Find: Will you visit J.Crew this Weekend?

This is the weekly "sale watch" post, to help each other find sale items at our various local J.Crew stores. ;)

If you are stopping by a J.Crew store this weekend to see what's available (if anything!) in the SALE, or to see some NEW ARRIVALS {sigh!} in person, maybe you might be willing to share that with us in this post. In particular, if you could share with us a few of the noteworthy items that are available, at what prices, and potential sizes the store is carrying (as well as the store location)- that would be fantastic!

Also, please let us know if your local store is carrying an additional percent off sale. Thanks in advance!!! :)

P.S. I noticed that many of you have already been reporting sale items (and in which stores) in other posts which by the way "thank you!" :) I really appreciate how helpful we are for each other!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Exclusively Early Access: Up to 30% Off Your In Store Purchase {starts tomorrow!}

"Thanks!" to many of you, who let us know about the following promotion this evening.

J.Crew is offering customers to take an extra 30% off purchases of $200+ or 25% off purchases of $100+ at their brick & mortar (B&M) locations. The offer starts tomorrow and ends March 27, 2015. The fine print includes:
*25% discount valid on purchases of $100 to $199.99 before taxes are added. 30% discount valid on purchases of $200 or more before taxes are added. Offer valid in J.Crew stores from March 27, 2015, through March 29, 2015. Offer not valid in the 769 Madison Avenue store, Liquor Store, Ludlow Shops, J.Crew Factory stores, at jcrew.com, jcrewfactory.com or on phone orders. Offer cannot be applied to previous purchases or the purchase of gift cards and cannot be redeemed for cash or used in combination with any other offer. Offer not valid on select men’s suiting or Wallace & Barnes items; women’s fine jewelry; select crewcuts, Collection, Garments for Good, wedding or third-party branded merchandise. Discount automatically taken at the register. Offer valid in the U.S. and Canada only. Terms of offer are subject to change.
Not going to lie, this is a very nice (and unusual) promotion. Unusual since this is the kind of offer we typically see during the holidays. A happy surprise indeed!

The fine print clearly states it can't be used with any other offer. However, I am curious if store employees will honor current promotions as well as the additional 40% off sale. We will find out tomorrow!

Will you be taking advantage of this promotion? What item are you hoping to pick up? Please share!

JCA "Help Style Me!" Weekly Post

This is the weekly "Help Style Me!" post, where we can share items we are having trouble putting outfits together with. Elaine (in this post) says it best, "You know, that thing you bought because you love it and you keep pulling it out and then putting it away without wearing it?"

Please share your J.Crew item (either that you own or are thinking about getting) that you would love help creating an outfit with.

Also, please help out by offering your styling advice. Feel free to include links to your blog (where you incorporated that piece) or to Polyvore (where you showcased an outfit with that piece). Thanks in advance! :)

"Looking to LOVE" with J.Crew

This is the weekly "Looking to LOVE with J.Crew" post, a place to share our favorite experiences with J.Crew.

If you have recently experienced a positive situation with J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Please feel free to share your story on almost any topic— including stellar experiences with purchases & orders, promotions/ offers, in-store visits, transactions with store associates, etc.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Take 25% Off Spring Must Haves {extra 30-50% off sale too!}

"Thanks!" to many of you, who let us know about the following promotion this morning.


J.Crew is offering customers to take an extra 25% off select full-price warmer-weather styles with promo code HAPPYSPRING. The offer expires March 29, 2015. The fine print includes:
*Offer valid on the purchase of select full-price items in J.Crew stores and at jcrew.com from March 25, 2015, 12:01am ET through March 29, 2015, 11:59pm ET. In-store discount as advertised. 25% discount valid online on items marked "25% off with code HAPPYSPRING." Offer not valid in the 769 Madison Avenue store, Liquor Store, Ludlow Shops, J.Crew Factory stores, at jcrewfactory.com or on phone orders. Offer cannot be applied to previous purchases or the purchase of gift cards and cannot be redeemed for cash or used in combination with any other offer. In-store discount automatically taken at the register. To redeem online, enter code HAPPYSPRING in the promo code box at checkout. Limit one promotional code per order. Offer valid in the U.S. and Canada only. Terms of offer are subject to change.
This is another nice promotion for regular priced merchandise over at J.Crew. Although, what I am pleased to see is that they brought back the additional percent off for sale merchandise...

J.Crew is again offering an extra 30% off Spring sale and an extra 50% off Final sale items for purchases made online with code HAPPYSPRING. B&M stores were still offering an additional 40% off sale.

Will you be taking advantage of this promotion? What item are you hoping to pick up? Please share!

"Looking to VENT" with J.Crew

This is the weekly "Looking to VENT with J.Crew" post, a place to share our not-so-stellar experiences with J.Crew.

If you have recently experienced a frustrating situation with J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Please feel free to share your story on almost any topic— including poor experiences with purchases & orders, promotions/ offers, in-store visits, transactions with store associates, etc.

Weekly Share: Other JCrew-like Retailers

This is the weekly "Other JCrew-like Retailers" post (similar to the "Off On A Tangent" posts), where we can share our finds from other retailers that have offerings similar to J.Crew (like Anthropologie, LE Canvas, Gap, BR, Talbots, Ann Taylor, and the like.)

If you have recently encountered items that are similar to J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Please feel free to share your story on almost any topic— including experiences with certain merchandise pieces, promotions/ offers, in-store visits, transactions with store associates, etc.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

J.Crew Reviews {straight from the JCAs!}

This is the weekly "J.Crew Reviews {straight from the JCAs}" post, to help each other share our reviews.

So if you have recently purchased, or stopped by a J.Crew store to try on an item (or two) from J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Also, this request is not just limited to clothes. Please feel free to discuss bags, shoes, jewelry, accessories, etc.

In particular, if you could mention a few of the noteworthy details like fit, size, fabric, and the like— that would be fantastic! Thanks in advance! :)

Do You Still Heart J.Crew?

"Thanks!" to JulieStyles (in this post) who shared the following article from the Washington Post (click here to read in its entirety):
Sorry, J.Crew. Female shoppers just aren’t that into you.
By Sarah Halzack
March 23, 2015

It wasn’t long ago that J.Crew was the envy of the retail industry. Its distinctive look — well-made basics bedecked with a splash of sequins or a door-knocker-sized necklace — stood out from less adventurous retailers in the same price range and helped the brand triple its revenue between 2003 and 2013.

And yet 2014 marked a turn in fortunes for the retailer. The company recently reported that sales at its stores open more than a year fell 2 percent in 2014. In the crucial holiday quarter, the brand’s financial picture was especially cloudy, with revenue decreasing slightly to $620.7 million and comparable sales sliding 5 percent.

In a rare appearance on a conference call with analysts, chief executive Mickey Drexler offered several reasons for what he called “a tough year” for his company, including a decline in mall traffic, intense competition and shoppers’ fixation on promotional prices.

And yet the biggest problem of all, Drexler said, was one of J.Crew’s own making: It filled its stores with clothes that women really just weren’t into. “We’ve made some mistakes,” Drexler said, including “missteps in our iconic classics.”

Drexler said the women’s business has been “challenging” recently and that the fits, silhouettes and color palette of the clothes simply haven’t connected with shoppers the way they had in the past.

J.Crew says it is aggressively trying to win customers back with fresh colors, classic designs and a more diverse merchandise assortment, particularly in the pants category. (As Drexler said, if you weren’t buying their skinny-cut Pixie or Minnie pants last year, you probably weren’t buying women’s pants from them at all.)

J.Crew is learning the hard way that in an era when e-commerce has presented women with ever-greater shopping choices, customer loyalty is hard to win and incredibly easy to lose. And with its middle-of-the-road price point, the typical J.Crew shopper might be just as likely to invest in a $595 shift dress at Tory Burch as she is to impulse-buy a $8.90 crop top at Forever 21.

With that kind of breadth of competition, J.Crew is betting that the way to get ahead of the pack is not with new marketing tactics or store designs, but to simply make better, more appealing clothes.

J.Crew is not the only specialty retailer that is grappling with a style problem. Gap has lately had similar struggle, with sales stumbling hard as critics say its sportswear has veered from classic and simple to just plain boring. ...

Gap’s sister brand, Banana Republic, appears to be coming out of a style rut under its new creative director, Marissa Webb, who impressed critics and analysts with fall and winter collections featuring trendy and edgy details....

The recent weakness at J.Crew comes after a long stretch in which the brand was flying high. Many attribute its recent success to its top leaders, including Drexler, the chief executive...

And then there is Jenna Lyons, the creative director who has earned the kind of cultlike adoration that is typically reserved for haute couture designers. She’s responsible for the unique, preppy-with-a-twist aesthetic of the clothes, and she is a walking billboard for how to wear them. Photos of her regularly ping-pong around fashion blogs and Instagram feeds, often featuring her in thick-rimmed, geek-chic glasses and some sort of formal-meets-casual ensemble — maybe a structured blazer atop ripped jeans or sequined harem pants paired with a striped T-shirt.

The growth and buzz that Drexler and Lyons created led to whispers about an initial public offering for the privately-held company. But amid last year’s slowdown, that talk has died down.

Reviving the women’s business isn’t J.Crew’s only hope for improvement. The company also includes Madewell, a newer, casual-cool chain which had a much stronger year than J.Crew.

Madewell — a destination for distressed denim, suede ankle booties, and vintage-looking button-downs — had a 14 percent sales increase in 2014 at stores open more than year, growth that is vastly better than what was seen at most specialty apparel retailers. It appears that Drexler sees Madewell as something of a pet project and that he is intensely focused on making it the next big thing in American casual apparel.

The company is also rapidly growing its lower-priced Factory outlet business, with plans to add 21 more of these stores in 2015. And it is cautiously expanding the presence of the J. Crew brand overseas, with a Paris store in the chic Marais district and plans to grow its footprint in Britain and Hong Kong.

But even if these other strategies help make up for slowness in J. Crew’s women’s business, the company remains determined to win back its core female shopper. “She is loyal as hell until we go wrong,” Drexler said. 
So many interesting points being made throughout this article (of which I highlighted). The most important is that *finally* J.Crew recognizes that it's important to make their customers happy.
If I sound pretty harsh, it is because for awhile it felt like J.Crew was catering to the fashion editors and fashionistas from Fashion Week more than the base of loyal aficionadas.

It is fine to mix in high-end, fashion forward pieces for the Collection line, which is what it is meant for. However, J.Crew started to make some questionable moves with their regular collection like when they retired the classic Cece Ballet Flat (which they had to bring back!) from their offerings. No matter how many back-to-back sales and promotions, items were not selling. You had to start wondering who was making the bad calls at J.Crew. More importantly, why were they not being fired.

It is clear from Mickey's comments that he recognizes they have gone too far. The question is can they fix it? I think they can. Get the right mix of product that customers, their base of customers, really want, and you will see sales rise. Just look at the Chateau Coat- that was one item they got right during the Holiday season. It never went on sale and it keeps selling out! But as for the rest of the Holiday offerings? Meh. The color palette was drab. The styles were over-sized. Bring back the rich hues! Bring back the tailored tops!

Lastly, I find it interesting that Madewell performed so well. I am a Madewell Aficionada as well and I can see that the quality and fit are in those pieces. I hope Mickey pays a bit more attention to J.Crew to make sure J.Crew sees a rise and in their quality and fit.

What are your thoughts on this article? Any points you found interesting? Anything you agreed or disagreed with?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Take an Additional 20% Off J.Crew's Third Party Merchandise

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Sean, who let us know about the following promotion from a post over at Reddit (click here to check it out).

J.Crew Factory is offering an additional 20% off regular priced third party merchandise with promo code THANKYOU. It's unclear how long this promotion will last. So if you are interested in something, I recommend getting it sooner than later.

Sean also shares: "For instance, the St. James shirts are eligible, and Alden shoes (I’m a guy, and these never go on sale)."

This is pretty awesome! J.Crew very rarely (as in, just one time that I can remember) puts their regular priced third party merchandise on promotion.

Will you be taking advantage of this promotion? If so, what items are you interested in?