Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Say Good-Bye To J.Crew's Shopping Bag!

Okay, I am being a little dramatic with the post's title. No, J.Crew is not getting rid of their shopping bag. Instead, they have changed their shopping bag to one that is lighter. The new shopping bag has traded the thick paper stock for a lighter variety and swapped the logo-green string handle for plain brown straw.

According to one store associate, J.Crew did it to become more "environmentally friendly". (I put that in quotes, because I suspect it had more to do with reducing costs than saving the environment.) He also mentioned that most customers preferred the old version. (Count me as one of them!)

I am all for saving the environment, but I really like the old versions. I actually save all my bags from J.Crew. I re-use them all the time. In fact, I used J.Crew shopping bags to help me move last year. They are just the right size and incredibly durable.

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised by the change. J.Crew has already made some reductions. For example, take a look at a new catalog versus one from two years ago. The catalog from two years ago was about an inch wider. Also, J.Crew reduced the number of catalogs it mails (refer to the "Not Getting J.Crew's Catalog? {there's a reason}" post). I guess the times, they are a changing. ;)

What are your thoughts on the shopping bag change? Does your local store carry the new bag or is it still using the original?

Quick Poll: What are your thoughts on J.Crew's new shopping bag?

45 comments:

  1. OT: Sorry, didn't know where to post this but some items online have been updated :) If there is an item you are stalking you can do a google search to see if it's now available. Scored a couple of great items using this 'technique'

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  2. they did it to save money, (NOT the environment). I prefer the original bag, but it's no biggy it is just a bag.

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  3. And I see some updated items, but where is the Free Ship Code!!!!!

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  4. I like the new bag just fine. I always feel guilty when I end up using the heavier bag for recycle...even though I'm recycling.

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  5. I loved that you could sling the old bag over your shoulder like a purse. Makes things easier for schlepping around the mall.

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  6. I bring my own bag wherever I go shopping: groceries, clothes, drug store. Easy, cheap and green.

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  7. I hate the short handle on the new bag since I can't put it over my shoulder which I almost always do. I always reuse my J. Crew bag until the thing is so wrinkled and that too I use it to put stuff at home. They are well made bags and I better stock up on them before they are gone! LOL!

    I reused my bag today so I don't remember if my B&M had the new ones yet.

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  8. I loved their old shopping bag, I needed a sturdy one when I am all day shopping excursion when I am visiting the US.

    J Crew has cut corners on their clothes and now their bags. I also noticed they have changed the J Crew lettering on their mailers packages and the paper is not as thick as before.

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  9. I keep my bags too so on my most recent trip to the b&m I didn't get a new bag (made returns/bought new items). I say I don't care about a change in bags unless it's so flimsy it's ripping or the bottom is falling out! :P

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  10. As a city-dweller, I am so bummed to see this. The sturdiness of shopping bags matters to me because the last thing I need is a bag full of swag ripping when I'm 70 blocks from home. Bad form.

    On a side note, since you mentioned catalogs Alexis, all of a sudden I seem to be back on their mailing list. Not sure if that's because I've had large J.Crew spends over the past few months or what. But I actually got a January catalog in the mail with my name on it and everything!

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  11. I´m with SEmom: I try to bring my own. Now, if only J. Crew would sell a reusable shopping tote, I would totally buy it.

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  12. I reuse my J.Crew bags all the time too. It's one of those things I never really think about, but now that you mention it - a more flimsy version isn't going to do me much good! Just means I'll be using *more* bags, I suppose (rather than reusing the old). And, um, using more isn't so particularly good for the environment. Nor is it cost effective.

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  13. I miss the tissue paper as well. I really like when I get to open my boxes from other companies that use the paper still. It makes the order seem like a gift/package and enhances the experience. I even liked it in stores and I always reused it from JC as I do with other stores now.

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  14. I've been using the same small J.Crew back for a few months now to cart stuff back and forth to work everyday. They really are durable and the small one is the perfect size for the random things (mittens for cold office, phone charger, etc.) I take daily.

    Other than that I too bring my own bags everywhere. I have a stash in my car and feel bad when I purchase something without one and have to get a store bag. I also decline the tissue paper at stores; to me it is a waste. But, when I receive an item via online order that is wrapped in paper I do try and reuse it, particularly the pretty Anthro paper.

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  15. I use jc bags to wrap gifts, but sometimes, with the older bags, the paper can be too thick and makes for some finagling. I also use the bags to store shoes. I'll still use the new bags for wrapping, but probably won't be able to use them for shoe storage anymore.

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  16. Oh I'm kinda bummed out about this! While I'm all for environmentally friendly bags, I love the durable J.Crew bags. I like to reuse them to carry my lunch. Oh well.

    Also, love the new header!

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  17. ...But yeah, having a canvas bag or keeping a fold and roll nylon bags in your purse is an even better solution! Who cares if it doesn't saw jcrew.

    I brought one of my canvas bags to old navy once, and at the checkout the associate asked if it was something from the store (like, she was going to charge me for it), lol.

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  18. I bring my own as well, though I like to have a couple of the small size JC bags around in case my husband forgets to bring home his Star Wars lunch bag. I don't think that the downgrade will have much of an impact for me, but I am glad that the receipts aren't put into those little envelopes anymore. Now that was a waste, and annoying, since I like to check the receipts as I'm leaving just in case.

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  19. I disagree. I loved the little envelopes. Another thing about JCrew that I felt made it special and stand out. I also could keep all my JC receipts seperate and never lost them as I seem to do now.

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  20. O loved the old bags, very bummed about the new ones. I reuse my bags as well and the JCrew bags were the perfect size and very durable

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  21. I received two catalogs this month. One at my billing address for my JCrew credit card, one at the address where I have purchases shipped. The cardholder address catalog has the same cover, different order of pages inside, and a 20% off my next online purchase code. The shipping one is just basic.

    I find it so weird that they stopped sending some catalogs, yet they send me TWO.

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  22. I love their bags! I re-use them as well for things over and over until I can't anymore. In fact, I have a bag that carries all my empty cd cases that weighs a ton now and the bag is perfect for it. I've had it for years actually! I think with the new bag, I'll be more likely just to throw it out. :-/

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  23. Looks just like their outlet bags now. Not surprising.

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  24. I'm guessing with the raffia handles you can now just put the whole bag in recycling? When I recycle a bag that has yarn handles I have to unknot those and remove them first. So yes they are saving money but there might be an environmental benefit too.

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  25. I liked and reused the old bags a lot, and then removed the strings and recycled them when they got dingy. As for the paper envelopes and tissue paper, that was a waste. It may make things seem "special" but think about the waste of resources just to make you feel "special" for 30 seconds. I always wonder when people complain about collection items not being specially wrapped. It's one thing to protect a delicate item, but how much paper/cardboard should be wasted so one can feel better about overspending several hundred dollars on an item?

    I also refuse jewelry boxes when I am buying a jewelry piece for myself and just put the item in the small zipper compartment in my purse.

    I too apparently was put back on the catalog mailing list even though I specifically requested not to get them a few years back. I wonder what their cost/benefit analysis of adding unsoliciting people bank on to the mailing list was.

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  26. Aww...I will miss that bag. I remember going shopping at J Crew, throwing that bag over my shoulder and having my hands free for the rest of my shopping trip. I understand why they're doing it, though.

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  27. We will look back at the old J. Crew with fond memories, when the shopping experience included nice bags and leaving the store with your brightly colored cashmere and tailored jackets wrapped in tissue like a gift to yourself when you got home.

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  28. not to be negative- but really people- it's a BAG!! We should all be re-using bags anyway. Anthro is now putting customers who bring their OWN bag when they make a purchase in a "raffle" to win a gift card at the end of each month. I for one am ALL about it!!

    And JC probably did it to cut costs AND be enviromentally friendly- and there's nothing wrong with either one, right?
    and think back...those little green envelopes and tissue on the items was back when we WEREN'T in a recession and people were spending money like it was going out of style!

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  29. Everyone: Thanks for sharing! :)

    JCrewLover: I understand where you are coming from. I agree that it is just a bag. (And this blog is just about clothes.) However, I really like those bags. I always re-use them because they are fantastic (durable, just the right size, and handles are convenient for over the shoulder). So I am sad to see them go and wanted to see what others thought. I don't think it's a bad thing to talk about it, right? :)

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  30. Nicely said, Alexis:

    I agree that it is just a bag. (And this blog is just about clothes.)

    I also really like those bags and I do reuse them over and over for a multitude of things. And when they are finally all ratty and ready to rip I use them to start a fire in the fireplace. They are great.

    Reusing bags is always good and a good reusable bag goes along with that. Not all reusables have to be plastic, canvas, nylon, etc. Reusable paper bags can work too.

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  31. I, too, loved the bags because you could put them over your shoulder. I usually have my own bag re-use an old J.Crew bag. Sigh...

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  33. I do 98% of my shopping online so the bag doesn't really matter. However, the fact that the bag changed to something so "plain" looking does mean something. I drank the crewlade along time ago (as many of us did) and over the past few years the crewlade no longer has that "perfect taste" but rather a peculiar taste that you can't decide if you love or hate.

    I have clothes from 2004 that are still in great condition after normal wear and washings. However, the clothes that I've purchased just this past fall season have holes and hems coming unraveled. Thus, the change in bags just stays right in line with the declining quality and increasing prices. I realize that it's all about bottom lines and profit margins, but J.crew was appealing to a niche market (in my opinion) and now it's turning into a company with mainstream market appeal at the cost of quality and uniqueness. I mean how many more seasons of ruffles are we going to have to endure!

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  34. HermesCrew - I could not agree more!

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  35. I liked that I could carry the old bag over my shoulder. I haven't seen the new bag yet.

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  36. I use reusable canvas bags for EVERYTHING - groceries, clothes, etc. It's not very glam when I shop in a nice store like JCrew, but at least now I don't keep accumulating tons of plastic bags and paper shopping bags in my closet...

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  37. alexis-absolutely nothing wrong with talking about it-and I dont disagree that the old bags were much nicer-I like that you put even put it as a post-but i was just stating that in today's economy, costs are getting cut EVERYWHERE, and bags and frivolous things like that ( little green envelopes, tissue, catalogs, etc) are the first to go ( after quality, of course, right!!;)!!

    Like Heidi said, it's "no biggy, it's just a bag".

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  38. To me, the significance of the bag change and loss of special touches like the tissue paper and receipt envelope is that they are symbolic of the more significant changes to the J. Crew brand ... declining product quality, workmanship, and service paired with increasing prices.

    Thanks to Alexis for providing a forum to discuss it!

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  39. So we're getting a new lower quality bag to go with the new lower quality clothes? Perfect!

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  40. I always saved the bags to reuse, because they were so sturdy. Also nice to have when I need to return shipped items and don't want to hulk several dirty shipping boxes to the counter. Being able to sling it over the shoulder for hands free shopping is great, too. The green yarn is used for all sorts of things around my house, too. Too bad, but a sign of the times, I suppose. I just hope the new bag straps don't cut into my hands after a long day of shopping.

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  41. what are you really going to do with an expensive bag? Most of them end up in the trash.. so it makes sense to making a cheaper bag. especially with this economy and this new year.

    Sales drop in january and jcrew is doing their best in economizing. They are also focusing on keeping green on things as well.

    Remember those receipt holders? Waste of paper.. so they got rid of it.

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  42. Thanks for the tip - I just pulled some old-style JCrew bags out of the recycling bin.

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  43. agree with jen, I took is as a tip. went to B&M yesterday to return some things that I put in the old style bag. Then I bought something and they gave me another bag, still over the shoulder style. Normally I would ask them to re-use the bag I brought in, but because of this blog (thank you Alexis) I got an extra bag to save for later.

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  44. Not a fan of the new bag either. I always reuse my JCrew bags. I see they are slowly cutting corners everywhere...they use to wrap clothes in tissue paper and place receipts in small green JCrew envelops at the store, but they no longer do that. This is definitely to save money, but just played up to "save the environment".

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  45. This sucks! I like their old bags. I too used them during moving like Alexis! I reuse them all the time. I hate bags with the flimsy straw handles. Yuck. Yet they have more and more high end, expensive items. Makes no sense.

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Dear J.Crew Aficionadas & Aficionados: Please feel free (and encouraged) to share your thoughts and opinions. :) However, please note that this is still a personal blog. So comments that are considered inappropriate (e.g. obscene, racist, homophobic, personal attacks, rude, and just plain mean) will be removed.

And now back to J.Crew! :)