Wednesday, September 8, 2010

News About J.Crew's Return Policy

J.Crew's existing return policy is the following (found here):

Quality is our highest priority. Always has been, always will be.

our guarantee

We guarantee our merchandise to be free of manufacturing defects and will accept any defective item for refund or exchange.

All in-store returns/exchanges in accordance with this policy require a government-issued ID and an original receipt to receive cash/check refund. Returns without an original receipt also always require a government-issued ID.

within 60 days of original purchase:

J.Crew gladly accepts returns of unworn, unwashed, undamaged or defective merchandise for full refund. Refunds must be accompanied by the original receipt and will be made in the form of the original payment. If the original receipt is unavailable, we'll make an exchange or issue a merchandise credit based on the current selling price.

after 60 days of original purchase:

J.Crew will gladly make an exchange or issue a merchandise credit for the price at the time of sale (with original receipt) or for the current selling price (without original receipt).
A big "thanks!" to Slastena (who runs the amazing "About All and Nothing at All" blog) who shared the following news about J.Crew's return policy:
...I have learned today from the PS and the store manager ...that in a week the new return policy will be in effect. The new policy will be return in 30 days only, no returns without receipts, no returns after 30 days -period. Store credit I asked? They said, most likely not even that. ...[They] replied that a boutique practice that J crew tries to emulate has a very strict return policy, some only allow 14 days for a return and 30 days for an exchange. They fell that a low-end mass retailer provides indefinite return policy. Then they [mentioned] about some crazy lady trying to return [something] after 4 years ...about stolen merchandise that [people] return to the store without receipt.
This is disappointing news as well. :( First, the student/educator discount and now this. Although I can understand J.Crew's position, I always hate seeing benefits, perks, and policies keep getting reduced.

What are your thoughts on this latest change? Did you know about this change? Will this have an impact on your future orders?

154 comments:

  1. This will definitely impact how I shop at JCrew. 60 days I had gotten used to...30 days...no way. Will shop now even less. I rarely shop boutiques b/c of their no return or very short return policy.

    Usually what I do buy in store I keep but online not nec. I return more than I keep. This way it let me return within 60 days several items. I just don't have time to make runs to the store as much as other seem to do here that have stores nearby them.

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  2. I SO saw this coming...they're probably sick of processing returns when they're slashing prices constantly, not to mention the whole "just get this inventory off our books" mindset. Once again, JC makes a change that takes the joy out of shopping wiht them. I get that there's also a lot of return abuse, and of course everybody has to be punished for a few bad apples.

    The 30-day policy has definitely curbed my spending at Gap/BR/ON, especially when buying something that I wouldn't even be able to wear for a month anyway (like sweaters and coats). Instead of being "trained" to have it NOW, I wait for the price I'd like to pay (like Gigi mentioned yesterday), and if it sells out or whatever, oh well. I don't need most of this stuff anyway. Funny, I don't see this change as making them seem more "high end"... actually, quite the opposite (Gap stores/F21).

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  3. Due to location 95% of my JC purchases are online. Shortened return window likely means spending even more on hefty return postage from Canada to meet the 30 day window and keeping even less because don't like Paying (excessively) To Try On, not being able to compile returns, and can't wait to see if item works with other items in my wardrobe.

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  4. I am a BR employee. The 30 day policy was recently changed back to 60 days due to customer feedback. As a sales associate, I definitely see both sides of the issue. Hopefully the 30 days will get as much customer resistance at JC as it did at BR.

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  5. To me this means they do not stand behind their products. JCrew's original return policy was like LLBean and Land's End. Guaranteed Period. NO time frame to return. Then about 4 years ago they changed to 60 days. That was a shocker but you could still return at anytime and get store credit so I dealt with it.

    This time I won't deal with it. I will likely shop elsewhere. Even Talbots has a 90 day return policy.

    This cheapens JCrew and makes them seem like F21 with their 28 day return policy. I can see F21 having this policy as they sell inexpensive items. JCrew does not.

    Also how many times would one wear an inseason item they bought in 30 days....2-3 times? Wash once. Fall apart??? Likely. And no return then. Out the money for a crappy holey tee or pilling sweater. No thanks.

    And I would NEVER buy early in a SEASON now b/c the item would sit in my closet for at least 30 days.

    Bye bye JCrew. You won't be filling 95% of my closet space anymore.

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  6. Greg and Kim,

    That is so good to know! Thanks for the post.

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  7. Goodness gracious! I see where they are coming from, but for those of us who live 2 hours away from the nearest b&m CAN'T make it into a store often to exchange. I always try to return in person instead of through mail to save on shipping costs. This will definitely impact purchasing on my part! Especially with the educator's discount change...

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  8. Also, I hope that j.crew sends out an email or something to let customers know. We get the inside scoop on these changes thanks to this wonderful blog, but for them to change a policy and not make an announcement is wrong. Same thing with the educator's discount. I remember when it was changed from all items to just full price items, I didn't find out until I asked for the discount and wouldn't get it. I think that's bad business practice.

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  9. Like others, I shop much less at Gap/BR (for me, hubby, and kids) now since they changed the return policy to 30 days. If J Crew does the same, I'll reply the same way too. For example, I found some beautiful merino cardigans at Nordstrom last week, I think they were Halogen. Nice cut and finishing, plus a liberal return policy (I won't be wearing the cardi for another few weeks at least). I am returning the J Crew version, too bad for the Crew.

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  10. Bad idea J Crew. You don't stand behind what you sell anymore. We get that loud and clear.

    In general, I agree with the tighter return policies that AT, BR and other retailers have adopted, but 30 days is far too restrictive. I will say that I buy about 1/3 of what I used to from BR, just bacause I wait until it is actually warm enough or cool enough for me to use at item to purchase it. That way, I can decide quickly if an item is right for me, but this also means that much of what interests me is sold out by the time it is actually usable. I am certainly glad that they are changing their policy back as they will now get more of the money I have been spending at the Crew.

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  11. I guess since I have been buying most of my items at FS for a while this has less of an impact on me. Completely OT but has anyone seen the new Lands End catalog for the Canvas 1963 line? It reminded me of a J Crew catalog ca. 1995 or so.

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  12. Hm, I always keep all my receipts, but in the past, occasionally, if I couldn't find one, they were able to look it up using my Jcrew card. Will they no longer do this?!

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  13. Well, you know this is going to be a hot topic! I could not agree more with the previous posters. Makes me wonder how thoroughly Mickey and the execs have thought this through. It seems like another extremely short-sighted decision. Declining quality, endless final sale, sequin harem pants and now more delusions of grandeur that make them think their customers will buy with a 30-day window? Umm, no.

    First, as others have said, it cheapens their brand. F21 has a 30-day return policy. (Then again, sometimes I wonder if JCrew is trying to be F21 with 3 or 4 or 5x prices.) 30-day return screams, "We sell junk and we know it." My spending with Gap/ON/BR plummeted after they changed their policy, and the same will happen with JCrew. (Good to know, though, that Gap has changed back. Point taken.)

    Second, I'm not interested in the retail timetable. I don't buy winter wear in September - and I especially won't knowing I won't even be able to wear any of it before the 30 days are up. Translation: no full-price purchases.

    Third, when you combine this with the quality, fit, and styling issues, they're really driving their base away. The recessionista customers JCrew is courting aren't the base - they're going right back to designer as soon as their perception of the econmony improves. Once they (further) alienate their base, who will JCrew be left with?

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  14. This whole business about a longer return period being too much like a mass retailer and "You don't want to think of yourself as shopping at one of those, do you?" is complete and utter BS.

    It's all about their bottom line.

    Here's a suggestion: Start (or go back to producing better-made goods and stop chasing the high-end market. J.Crew's core customer does not wear nor want sequined harem pants, just cashmere that doesn't pill while trying it on in-store.

    Mickey and Jenna - I'm taking a break from your nonsense and heading over to Talbot's for a while.

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  15. Wow talk about a drastic change. They seem to be trying to turn away more and more loyal customers. Thankfully I'm surrounded by multiple stores but for those who don't live near a J.Crew this policy will be tough.

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  16. I am SO fed up with J.Crew. I wish there was a similar alternative, because I like being able to buy most of my clothes at the same place because it makes for easy shopping and easy matching.

    This is just absurd. I would be fine with the 30 days if you could still return after that for store credit, but what the heck. If they put out a velvet blazer in August I am clearly not going to be able to wear it until October and by then it is past the limit. On top of that, it will probably have been marked down already, so all this does is encourage me to wait to buy later.

    I have already told myself I cannot buy anything full price unless it is an absolute must and amazing and perfect (and even then I have to use my student discount), because every time I do it goes on sale within a week and I have to deal with adjustments! Add to this the fact that my student discount is only valid in the store and now I have practically zero incentive to ever buy full price.

    I wish someone would come out with some similar stuff, I would be all over it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately I am much too young for Talbots (not to mention I don't want to shop at the same store my grandma shops at) and I just don't like ATL.

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  17. Like many others, I am very unhappy with the news about the change in return policy. Since I wear petite sizes, I have to order online a lot in order to try things on, and 30 days is very restrictive. If this goes through and stays, I do think I will cut back on my purchases.

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  18. This is discouraging, as I live in Canada. It takes 7 to 10 days to receive my parcel and another 7 to 10 days for the return to be received, not to mention the potential delays at customs.

    I wonder if we'll also see a "no return ever" policy on sale items.

    Mexx is starting is offering some appealing options. I can see it, and try it on right in my hometown.

    Oh, my recent Lands End Canvas purchase was very good. The products are well made and have longevity in terms of style. To say nothing of the pricing, which seems appropriate. Well done.

    Side Note: I just called J Crew. The CS said there is no change that she's aware of. Hmmmm. Do PS's get information before CS's?

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  20. Jruby18,

    Who knows if within 30 days? But if after 30 days of course they won't!

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  21. well then. doesn't this leave a nasty taste in the mouth!
    i wish the execs luck finding whatever elusive and desirable demographic they seem to be aiming at here...

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  22. This is ridicolous. Being stuck with a $600 dress is not the same thing as being stuck with a $20 Gap tee. Even the Gap offers a store credit for returns without ticket for the current selling price. And as many others said, the new policy coupled with the prices dropping so fast means that nobody will be willing to buy full price. It looks like they are trying very hard to alienate their customers. And in case they haven't thought about it, I WILL NEVER sign up for a JCrew credit card now because if I really want to buy something at Jcrew I am going to use my Amex, so at least I have 90 days to return...

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  23. Eat my ruffled, sequined, raw-hemmed shorts, J.Crew.

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  24. I actually don't think it cheapens the image. Just because it's something Forever 21 has done, there are far, far many more upscale boutiques that actually do NOT have a large window of time for returns.

    I know not all of you are in NYC, but most places here are 7-14 days, in my experience. AND you only get store credit, not cash. Intermix recently changed that policy to give cash refunds with receipt, but I've come to learn that normally once you buy it, it's yours.

    It's not a quality issue per se, it's more about inventory and image (i.e. more often than not an item being returned is not in the same condition as it was when sold). Just food for thought. I don't think J.Crew is trying to say they don't stand behind their product.

    Finally: retail shopping is not a democracy. We don't have inalienable "rights" and "privileges". It's private property, and J.Crew can pretty much do what it wants within reason. We agree to abide by THEIR policies when we make a purchase. I'd love a discount and unquestioned returns as much as the next guy, but I also know it's not my "right" to have that.

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  25. This will negatively impact how I shop at J.Crew... not cool at all. I understand the receipt thing, but 30 days with a receipt and no store credit option after???

    Once Gap went to 30 days, I stopped buying a lot of things there. It's sad because the new merch comes out a good 3 months before it's even seasonal to wear!

    This will actually force me to wait for markdowns even more before buying something at JC. Yuck. Don't get good vibes from this at all!

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  26. Wow - just read through the comments - so many great points! It's actually making me madder reading all the comments!

    Ema: funny you said that about the AMEX b/c my hubby always trys to get me to use it on big-ticket items for that same "return" reason. Now *thats* a credit card with benefits!

    Regarding the LE Canvas line - I ordered a few things yesterday with the 25% off and free shipping. I'll be reviewing on my blog shortly. LOVE *their* return policy!

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  27. Anthro has an "unconditional guarantee" and they are not low end! That is a direct reflection of the confidence they have in their product. Refreshing!

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  28. @Whitney

    You've shone some much needed light on my soapbox rant. Thank you.

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  29. Would love a post listing other stores that JCAs shop at. I know there's the obvious BR, ATL, Gap, and the newer LL Bean Signature and Lands End Canvas. I've seen some people mention Topshop, though I've never purchased anything there. I'm a huge fan of Boden, and sometimes have luck at Lucky Brand Jeans for staples. Anyone have any secret gem stores they can recommend?

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  30. I feel everything J Crew sells is Final from now on!

    I think They might not accept AMEX in the future when they find out people are using more AMEX card than J Crew card.

    Gotta go! I'm getting a new AMEX card!

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  31. I think they will staple a new return policy on the receipt when they start, as GAP/BR did 2 years ago.

    When they had 30 day return in store, they gave 45 days for online orders. I think they will give a little more days for online orders.

    I recently found that BR changed back to 60 days (printed on the receipt)

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  32. This is really disappointing. As others mentioned, I will no longer buy any piece in the advanced season since I wouldn't be able to return it by the time I would get to wear it. I too have stopped shopping at BR and Gap as frequently because of these policies.
    I'm over Jcrew. Their stuff is the same every season anymore.
    Bad move!

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  33. Wow, this news, the discount disappearing, FS, forced quickmarch to markdowns: it feels like I'm visiting a dear old friend who is terminally ill and growls at me for taking the trouble.

    Only bright spot this morning is the return of La Belle Hélène -- in whose honor I am typing on a French clavier.

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  34. WFF, I wholeheartedly agree - on both counts!

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  35. Will this also apply retroactively, i.e. items that we bought before the change in policy still qualify for returns in 60 days (or after 60days for store credit)?

    Doesn't seem like fair market practice if they do.. I have a ton of returns to make!

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  36. Whitney,

    Thanks for your post. Some interesting thoughts...

    But JCrew is not a boutique or upscale shop. I expect limited return time frames when I shop at those type of stores and have no issues with that.

    JCrew is a mass market retailer pretending to be something they are not.

    You are right. They can do whatever they want but I can chose to shop with them like I do boutiques. I buy 1-2 items per year from those types of stores.

    Also, most boutiques do not sell online to the masses as JCrew does. 30 days to receive and return is very limiting.

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  37. This policy, if true, lends credence to something I heard last week at a fundraiser dinner. In a nutshell, an important person at a worldwide shipper sat next to me and over the course of the dinner we talked about several things, one which was holiday shopping at different retailers. Of course I had to tell him about my JC obsession. He said the "bottom has dropped out" of their business with them and that rather than take the necessary steps to fix their decrease in sales, they(JC) seem to be doing their best to alienate their customers even more.

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  40. David, I've heard that the retailing schedule generally has been adversely affected by problems with shippers, so it's interesting to have this perspective. And I'm sure it's accurate. But wouldn't this be a reason to be nicer to customers, rather than meaner?

    Mickey = Chainsaw Al, as best I can tell. Can't wait til his year-end bonus is computed and made public.

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  41. Oh J.Crew...you've outdone yourself now.

    Do you really think you will increase sales by making this policy?

    Here's what will happen:

    1) We will save our receipts and see you on the 29th day. Not 30 days, because some of your employees can't count. Believe me. I will count, circle my special calendar that is dedicated to jcrew use only.

    2) Wait. Scratch that. You'll find me at your store making a return w/receipt within 5 days because chances are, I'll find a defect in the new item I've just bought.

    3) We will stop buying final final sale items, unless you've marked it down to some ridiculous price where you'll now have to sell it at $9.99 and lose money on the item.

    4) We will laugh when we buy your stock at its 30% off + free shipping price. Wait. No I won't. I'm not riding this ship all the way down.

    5) We will shop elsewhere that wants our business. I'm sure you're making other retailers very happy by your upcoming policy changes.

    6) We will continue to tear at your design team. You're no longer worth buying full price. You're no longer the new kid that wears the new clothes that everyone yearns to wear.

    7) We will watch as Mickey makes concessions to why his stock price is so low, why his sales are so low, yet his inventory is so high.

    I've followed you around like a puppy dog for 10+ years now. Your preppy is gone, which means so am I!

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  42. WFF- I hope they give him his bonus in the form of a jcrew gift card and tack on all the rules of this new game.

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  43. Whitney, I'm wondering if you work for JCrew? No offense meant, but your posts come off as such, at least to me. Sometimes we just like to play in the sandbox here and throw a bit of sand around. You're welcome to borrow my pail and shovel anytime. :)

    Here's the problem for me: with so many rollouts, I find I buy something and then it sits in my closet because the next rollout or two I buy something I like more, and then more than 60 days later I realize I would rather return it than give it to goodwill. If this change is indeed going into effect, it will make me think hard about those impulse purchases. But I'm thinking hard about those anyway, given the recent dramatic and quick markdowns.

    Hope everyone is having a great day! Sure sucks that there was no update this am as far as I could tell? But then again, I'm probably happier that there wasn't one ;)

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  44. WFF- LOL, yes, because you've earned a net positive of $500 for the company, here is your gift card with $25, and it expires in 3 months.

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  45. It certainly discourages me from shopping full-price.

    I mean, if I want to pay $100+ for a pair of pants or $80 for a sweater, I can just go around the corner to Nordstrom for similar merch and a much more customer-oriented return policy in case a seam rips or something shrinks up unexpectedly.

    Others' mileage may vary, of course, but I do think it's a questionable business strategy when so many other retailers are trying to tap into J.Crew's customer base.

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  46. This is bad!
    From the time I place an order online, It takes about 7+ days to receive the shipment. Last time I made returns, It took about 15 days for the returns facility to process my order which leaves me less than a week to decide whether i want to keep my purchase and return shipping aint free. Eeks!
    Makes me not wanna shop with them anymore.

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  47. I agree with @Whitney, I don't see this as a reflection of the quality of JC's product. Heck, I've shopped at a couple boutiques here in Toronto that have a NO return policy -- store credit only within 14 days and only with the receipt. I have worked retail in the past where they had an extrememly generous return policy and frankly, people do take advantage.

    On the personal flipside of that, I am disappointed for the same reasons as my fellow JCAs have pointed out -- given the ship and return ship times, it makes it more difficult for those of us who rely on the mail order shopping. Plus, I tend to be in the US 4-5 times a year and prefer to make my returns in person rather than pay for shipping. I doubt I will order less from JC because of their new policy, I'll just have to be better at making my returns in a timely fashion.

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  48. I worked retail through college at a small boutique that sold the same stuff as Nordstrom, so we had to emulate their policies. So, I'm sympathetic to the retailer because I know how some customers abuse the privilege of an unlimited return policy--it's terrible!

    This policy change won't affect me, because I determine right whether I'm going to keep an item. If it doesn't work I'll return it promptly so I can get my money back right away.

    But puh-lease, J.Crew, don't use the lame "boutique" excuse. J.Crew is not a boutique. An unconditional guarantee is not "low-end." Erm, Nordstrom? JC has to do this because they're dropping two-week old merchandise to final sale.

    As with the restrictions on the educator discount, this won't affect me directly, but I am disappointed just the same.

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  49. Ugh that's hopeless for me, it takes over a week to reach me in The UK, slump I feel the end of a beautiful relationship.

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  50. LA Belle Helene: oh that was hilarious!

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  51. I agree with Whitney - and I definitely don't work in retail. I don't understand why customers need several months to decide whether they want to keep their purchases. Do people commonly keep a closet full of unworn clothes with tags "just in case"? Don't most people remove the tags and wear the clothes within a couple weeks?

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  52. BR shortened their return policy to 30 days, but I just noticed that they changed it back to 60 days again. They must have gotten a lot of complaints.

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  53. Thanks for posting this. I was thinking of returning a sequin skirt after reading one of the comments about how fragile it was. I'll do so tomorrow now as I think it's nearly 30 days and I can't find the receipt.

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  54. Jeanne- I think a lot of people buy clothes before it is the season you can wear them. J.Crew started rolling out legitimate fall merchandise in early August. It is still 90+ here. I obviously cannot wear a velvet blazer or a thick sweater. So yes, when I buy something from a new rollout I may not even have the opportunity to wear it for two months or longer because of the weather. This return policy just encourages me to wait it out and buy it later in the season (when I can actually wear it) and when it will be on sale. I guess it works out better for me in the end.

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  55. I understand how this is difficult for people who don't live near the shop but think how a tee shirt you bought July 9th would look in the shop today. They should offer free shipping back for certain zip codes to accommodate those who can't get the stuff back. Think I am echoing Hexicon here. I worked my way thru college at a Nordstrom and saw so much abuse. Also like my credit card balance back to 0 when I don't like something so I return it right away. Now I also think of my fellow JCAs who might like an item I am going to return.

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  56. A policy change won't keep crazy ladies from trying to return 4 year old merchandise.

    Crazy ladies don't read return policies.

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  57. I am usually a procrastinator when it comes to returns, so this is a bummer. It's good for my wallet though, because with busy work schedules and such I know I won't have time to adhere to the window and therefore will NOT buy so much.

    It's no fun to shop/not shop based on fear of being stuck with something I don't like...especially at full price! I returned a target LoL piece shortly after the 90 day or whatever it is window because I was doing a NWT closet purge- got back about 20% of the full price I paid. No way I'm going to take that kind of hit in bulk. Shopping is supposed to be fun, not some stacked casino game. If I want thrills I'll shop at GILT and get more value to boot.

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  58. I am SO glad I saw this post! I'm one of the "serial returners" - and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if I myself were the "crazy lady" trying to return something from 4 years ago (don't think I probably haven't tried it....I've got file folders stuffed full of old receipts).

    This is disappointing though. I remember finding out about Banana Republic's 30 days, no exceptions, return policy and it was the last nail in the coffin (after which I swore I'd never shop BR again). I won't stop buying J.Crew, certainly, but I'll definitely be more careful about what I purchase -- and no more of this "I might wear it someday and if I don't, I'll just exchange for something new." Goodness, I must be one of their worst offenders. (Although no, I've never purchased on eBay and returned without a receipt.) My weekly trips to the store to do returns will soon be no more. Good times, those were. Good times...

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  59. I actually don't care too much about the return window getting smaller. I can count on one hand the number of items I've returned in the past 5 years or so, and 2 of those were the wrong item that arrived in an online shipment.

    But I couldn't agree more with David that the company seems to be going out of its way to alienate its customers at a time when the complete opposite should be happening. I just do not understand this 'customer no-service' approach at all.

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  60. well, the one benefit of this policy, *for me*, is that i will certainly make a decision about keeping something more quickly. i am definitely guilty of keeping something for a (long) while, not sure if i'm going to wear it or not, then deciding i'm not. it was nice to have the luxury of thinking about it for a while. lol, i'm a SAHM and don't get to go "out" as much as i used to! :o

    yes, this policy does suck but i'm not surprised by it. it would be nice if a store credit could be issued after 30 days but i'm sure they're trying to stop people from re-buying for cheaper with that store credit.

    i hardly buy anything any more at gap/br partly because of their new return policy but mostly because i don't really care for much of their stuff any more. glad to hear that br changed back though.

    i'll still shop at jcrew...i don't care much for AT, Lands End or Talbots. i'm just going to put a lot more thought into what i'm buying...i'll have to learn how to not let the crewlade get to me so much! :/

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  61. I stopped shopping @ JC for about a year when the policy went from unlimited to 60 days. While I typically return items within the first week or so, I like having the option to change my mind, as others have stated.

    They have to allow you to return items after 30 days if the item falls apart. If not, I would seriously have to reconsider buying. I haven't been bitten as much as some of you, but I'm very cautious.

    I'm also curious as to how they will handle the holidays? Lots of people buy in advance and would need an extension so hopefully that will be considered.

    @ dinster, I too recently discovered the Halogen merino boyfriend cardigan. I like the colors and the detail on the Halogen brand (plus no FS at the same price point). Also, I found the spring cotton version for $14.99 at the Rack. I have only owned them for a month now but if anyone has any comments on the Halogen long term quality I'd be interested to hear it.

    @Chelsea, I agree we should have a posting with others favorites store and it would be great if people could add in the additional comments they have on each store (along with any "rules" and sizing differences).

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  62. Jeanne,

    It is still 90+ where I live. I still have my Dauphine jacket in the closet with tags on that I bought in July.

    Last Aug. I bought the Eden when it first came out. It was not cool enough to even think of wearing it until Nov.

    That is why this new return policy will seriously effect how I shop at JCrew....esp. when I could count on store credit being fine if needed.

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  63. I think this policy is just another way J. Crew doesn't stand behind their merchandise. Yes, there is customer abuse of return policies but there is also quite a bit of mark-up on clothing that not only makes up for the few who "abuse" and then some. Clothing is marked-up hundreds of percent when you compare it to the cost to make. So while some things are special because of design, a 40 dollar cotton T-shirt isn't.

    It's like J. Crew doesn't understand people are going to hang on to clothes they love for years and years and never dream of returning them because they stand the test of time. The whole oh, a few people abuse the policy is just an excuse. The retail season that sells wool coats when it's still in triple-digit degrees is an excellent reason why the return policy window shouldn't be so short. Also, I won't even go into the beast that is holiday season. If gift receipts are still valid for 60 days, maybe everyone can just get a gift receipt every time they make a purchase to get them store credit. Mickey is definitely marching to the beat of his own drum and he's about to run his company into the ground. At least he'll have that holiday bonus gift card to console him. LOL Christy!

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  64. Pollyanna falls off her perch. Oof.

    I buy about 25% of J. Crew items at full price, well before I can wear most of them. Because I do that, I sometimes find that by the time I do get to wear the item or use the item (purses, accessories), either the item fits differently (weight gain or loss of even a few pounds can affect fit), or the item doesn't work with anything else I own. So I take my original receipt with me to the store and ask for a store credit. I never even ask for a cash or credit refund.

    All this means is that I will now be limiting myself to 1-2 full price items a season now, and they have to be capable of being worn before the 30-day window expires.

    I am in a HUGE bind. I love the cocoon concerto coat I recently received, but what happens when the weather is cold enough for me to wear it? Huh, J. Crew??? You issued it when a good portion of the US is still in a heat wave and many of us will be UNABLE to wear it for at least 60 days. I like knowing that if I can't wear it, you will happily take it back so I can get some other ridiculously overpriced item instead.

    And just so J. Crew knows, I often buy full price because I know a lot of the items I love are sold out quickly and I want to be able to have it. But even if it is sold out, that doesn't mean that if it DOESN'T WORK FOR ME (when the season it is supposed to work in) I should be forced to keep it. Especially if it is a pretty expensive item I saved my SAHM/Subbing pennies for...

    I am actually quite sad. REALLY sad. I guess I will have to only buy on sale and only in season, if I decide to even do that. I am actually quite ticked off. I may mention this to my PS and say I am done because this policy really does adversely affet the way I can do business with them. I have to be more practical with my choices than they apparently think I need to be. That pretty much means that J. Crew has just lost a full-price paying customer, and possibly a customer entirely. So do I lose or do you lose, J. Crew?

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  67. I'm pretty sure that Forever 21's policy is NO returns at all, just exchanges even with the 30 day window.

    My question is that do we think this will just apply to purchases going forward? Or will it be retroactive??

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  68. Christy, Girlification of Jules, jcbellemarie & Rats On Parade in particular kept me laughing as I scrolled & read all the way down.

    Well, I'm not going to get my panties in a bunch about J Crew emulating a boutique or the terms of a new return policy because right now it's hearsay. The new policy hasn't been released, so I'll be curious to see how they lay it out if/when it is put into effect. I highly doubt that the 30 day return policy begins when you place your order. They have to start the count from the date the order is shipped. If not, they're loco! In a perfect world, the 30 day acount *should* be from the date it's delivered as that's trackable, but we know the Crew's comptuers can barely handle updating their current retail stock effectively. A 'benefit' of the J Crew card is they can use it to look up your purchases. No doubt they will push that as another wonderful benefit of the credit card.

    What I *do* know from my personal experience is that they continue to do things that alienate the customer. They can put little cards in my shipments from Millard Drexler about "great quality" and bringing me "the best of the best," but I don't always feel the love.

    That said, I agree w/Hexicon about the retailer's perspective. If you want to see more free shipping offers or flat shipping, something has to give. Regarding theft, many
    retail employees are told to let it go if they think it's happening and not risk their safety. The employees try to monitor & interact with customers to discourage, but if there's an outright theft, they don't chase. Those thieves return merch to the store and we pay the price w/new store policies.

    I think a 30 day return will largely impact their customers' shopping habits. I know it will mine. I've already stopped going to the store as much because the rollouts haven't excited me in a long while. I always make it there, but it's not like times in recent past. I DEFINITELY looked at BR far less when the 30 day policy went into effect. I only recently found that they went back to 60 days. So we'll see what happens in the Crewniverse. In the meantime, Macy's has become mildly interesting again (6 mo policy). Target is always on the radar (90 days). I'm starting to get into Anthro (for-ever + Anthro card lookup) and I guess I'll mozy back to Nordstrom again (for-ever).

    J Crew has a high number of stroller pushing clientele and they are really going to alienate them -- and many others -- with a narrower time window. I think it's esp stupid to mess w/the moms when J Crew want Crewcuts business, too.

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  69. Some details from my B&M: The policy will take effect September 17th. The new 30 day policy will only apply to in-store purchases. It WILL NOT apply to online purchases. Hope this helps.

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  70. Pink maple, they can't make it retroactive because the current policy was the terms and conditions of sale when you purchased an item. They can't renege on that. The change would have to be going forward. I'm surprised they are bothering to do this a 2 months before the holiday season. I imagine they are going to need to extend returns for the holiday season anyway, so why change the policy, then change it for the holidays, then change it back again?

    Also, I DON'T shop at boutiques b/c of their crappy return policies. One of the reasons I shop at JC is because I can get interesting pieces like you would find in a boutique but still have the mass-merchant terms of sale (i.e. decent return policy).

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  71. No more JC love for me once they implement this no returns/exchanges after 30 days policy. Mickey and Jenna think JC is some boutique? Well, take a look at your B&Ms and the sad wall full of falling apart tees and fraying sweaters/cardigans.

    Yes, this is a JC move that they no longer stand for their product and want the customer to be stuck with a bunch of raw edged, sequined, tissue thin crap that will not last more than couple washes and wears.

    I better get all my returns this weekend and haul them over to their outdated registers which take forever to do a single return.

    Also, JC better alert the customers of these changes before it takes effective or I'm report it to BBB. BR/GAP/ON informed their customers well BEFORE their return policy changed. I'm glad BR changed back to 60 days since I seriously stopped a lot of clothing purchases from them d/t the 30 days policy.

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  72. I agree with SUMMER that it shows they do not stand behind their products. They will lose customers because of this. I stopped shopping at Banana Republic for this reason (30 day returns even for loyal credit card holding customers?!). I think the quality of JCrew clothes (excluding "collection" pieces) has gone down where their prices are going up. JCrew needs to seriously reconsider or they will see customer loyalty go down the toilet.

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  73. I confirmed the following information:

    *30 day return policy applies to in-store purchases ONLY

    *Catalog and online purchases will remain at 60 days

    *The changes are effective 9.17.10

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  75. I was waiting to comment until I could confirm the changes are indeed going to take place, and sadly...it is true. However, I was told that they are constantly reassessing, so this may not be a forever deal. However, for now it will be implemented on the 17th.

    I have personally already become WAY more discerning about my purchases in the past several months due to quality issues, repetitive styles, and lightning fast markdowns, so this move will make me even more discerning now.

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  76. Pink Maple,

    You can return many but not all items from Forever 21 that you buy online. It makes sense since you cannot see the items in person:)

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  77. Fabulous Florida Mommy,

    Thanks for the info. and confirming that what we are all complaining about it going to happen.

    As another poster mentioned though, why are they doing this so close to the holiday season??? If they do make it only 30 days for in store purchases during the holidays their sales will really go down.

    I would not buy a gift from JCrew ever with only 30 days to return even after Christmas.

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  78. Caroline has a good point about Christmas and gift giving. Hopefully they will allow 30 days (or at least 14) after the holiday to allow gift recipients to return or exchange.

    I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I'm curious: Why does the current weather matter regarding the return period? I bought coats, blazers, wool pants during our ridiculously hot NY summer. I was still able to try on the winter clothes and determine whether I wanted to keep them. I already sent them out to be pressed and they're hanging in my closet, ready to go.

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  79. Jeanne, I agree. Like you, I'm not trying to be argumentative or critical of others; I'm just saying that personally I don't understand it.

    If I order a winter coat in August, I can tell within a few hours of trying it on and looking at it with stuff in my closet whether I want it or not. And even if it's quite warm outside (not so much of a problem here this summer, LOL) I can try it on for long enough to tell whether it fits and flatters.

    I don't like the idea of having questionable NWT items hanging in my closet--that's like storing green $$ there instead of in the bank. If I don't like it, I want to get the money back right away--so I can buy something else!

    JMO!

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  80. I'm glad this will apply only to store purchases. I wonder if they are going to still allow you to return online purchases AFTER 60 days for store credit, or if they are going to change it to a complete return cut off like they are doing for store purchases after 30 days.

    So I guess if you hate the new in-store return policy you can try stuff on in store and buy it online once a free ship offer comes out.

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  81. Often I will have HIGH hopes for an item and will really expect that I will wear it only to find out that even if it:

    a) fit,

    b) looked good in my mind at the time I originally tried it,

    c) and seemed to be a perfect addition to my wardrobe,

    in the end, sometimes, the piece that seemed glorious, etc., is just not working for me when the season comes around for me to wear it.

    It could be that the item is now fitting differently (I admire and respect all of you who can keep your weight even for years on end, I don't have that luxury), the item looks odd when used with the items I thought it intially looked good with (my tastes sometimes change quickly), and there is little that I can now find to work with it.

    Maybe I am a bit impulsive, hence why I end up loving something early on and then finding later that it isn't the best item for me personally. So, maybe, just maybe, J. Crew is trying to teach me to be more like you all who have better skills at creating your wardrobe. Well, then, J. Crew, I am learning my lesson. All it means for you, dear sweet teacher, is that I am not really interested in your full price offerings anymore. Can't take that risk. I don't know that I will lose...I do really love some of the full-price offerings at Anthro, and they let me be a bit more me...scattered clothing decisions and all. LOL.

    I really do admire those of you who know with certainty that if something you buy for another season will 100% work for you when the time actually comes...I just can't seem to do that!

    But I will say I don't wait four years to return something. Wow. I think I might have waited 120 days once or twice and since I don't care if I get store credit, it wasn't that big of a deal.

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  82. No matter what Jenna's illusions may be, JCrew is not a small boutique in NYC (or SF where I live) and hence has no reason to adopt the return policy of such a business. Their business models are different and it should be understood that a small boutique's inventory cannot handle returns 60 days later, nor it handle can the unpredictability of the cash flow problems such returns represent.
    And when I support such a boutique, I support those policies.
    JCrew is a huge corporation which seems to have quality control problems, has the issue of customers who shop online, and has no cause to try to balance their books on the backs of their most ardent customers. And please, thieves trying to return stolen merchandise are a problem which needs to be dealt with in some other way, not used as an excuse for limiting customer service to actual customers.

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  83. FFM - Thanks for sharing the info you recvd.

    Dina G - I agree w/what you outlined as far as items not working out as expected. Esp when weight fluctuates. I do remember the days of buying and wearing right away. I guess I've gotten caught up in purchasing at new releases regardless of weather. I've already started to pull back and just wait until closer to the point I'll wear it.

    Margaret - I'm not excusing J Crew's policies. Just pointing out that there has to be a balance made somewhere. I agree w/what you stated. The customer should not bear the brunt.

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  84. I cut my card and stopped shopping at BR when they changed their return policy to 30 days. I don't think I'll be able to live without Jcrew, but I'm so, so disappointed at this policy change. Who usually has such limited return policy? Places that sell disposable clothing, second-class quality, lower-end priced items.

    Think about places like Anthropologie, Nordstrom or even Macy's. At that price point, they have no problem with returns. I think Jcrew created their own problem by choosing to mass produce items that are not that special anymore, hence the need to lower the price within a month, hence turning shoppers into sale-shoppers or simply shoppers who will never pay full price for Jcrew items. Look at the bettina cami. How many did they produce? All colors are still available even with the 30% discount...What were they thinking?????

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  85. My reasons for not wanting to try on in stores:
    -- unsanitary (dusty) conditions in dressing rooms;
    -- long waits for same;
    -- privacy (noone peeking in to see how I'm doing);
    -- and, oh, right, being able to try something on with my shoes, tops, pants, different bra, different spanx, whatever.

    My reason for the occasional delayed return:
    I have a life.

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  86. WFF- Yeah, if we ever got together, we would get tossed out for lauging too hard...

    That's a whole pile of none of your business if someone was to ask me why I waited that long to return something...

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  87. Well, I'll just add my two cents and agree! The new return policy will cut down my JC shopping DRAMATICALLY. And that is putting it mildly.
    I hope they read this blog and listen to their actual customers. They are making some bad choices lately.

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  88. This thread is really interesting as we are learning about others' shopping habits. I am not trying to be critical at all--I have plenty of shopping quirks but like Hexicon I like a zero balance. She sounds confident and decisive where as I am a terrible decision maker and obsess over a purchase and use the "hold" service A LOT! I try on the finally decided upon thing with everything to make sure it will work once it's home. I guess I had never even considered doing it any other way. It must be part of our personalities.

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  89. wellfedfred,

    Yes, you said it exactly right: I have a life!

    While I LOVE to shop I have a life and cannot always even try on my online orders for several days...once 2 boxes sat for 2 weeks I was so busy!

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  90. Jcrew doesn't realize that when people shop at their store, it's also about the experience. When they change the return policy, I feel I'm not being valued as much anymore. (Jcrew is basically saying, "Yes, buy this, and after 30 days, you're on your own. We won't care what you think or do with the product.") This is why I know my money will end up going somewhere else like Anthropologie. You return anything you want anytime, and the CS will always treat you with a smile. Guess what? 90% of the time when I return something, I end up using the credit to buy something else on the same trip. Anthropologie is not being hurt by my return at all!!!!

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  91. LOL, Gem Twin, I think that my dithering and obsessing simply come at a different stage of the process :-) I take the CC out and put it back, make about a million Polyvore sets with the prospective purchase, etc., etc., and finally pull the trigger. Then, once it's in my hands, I have to be pretty decisive due to budget constraints.

    But I think the fact that we all have different shopping styles shows why JC is shooting themselves in their collective foot with this new policy. I'd speculate in a lot of cases those who can afford to take longer to decide are those whose budgets are more flexible. (I don't mean to generalize because I know we all have different situations.) So, way to alienate some of your big spenders, J. Crew.

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  92. One more reason to start looking elsewhere for my clothing. 30 days is not enough, life is busy, and it's unacceptable. I shopped less at Gap when they went to 30 days, now they went to 45 days, which is better. If J Crew wants a boutique feel, get rid of your crabby, elitist store employees and use quality fabrics. We all need to write J Crew customer service to try to stop this, much easier to do before it's final than after.

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  93. Whitney, problem is, J Crew is NOT a boutique with a few items hand picked by the owner, it's a MASS RETAILER. Also, you must be in your 20's, because once upon a time, not so long ago, the CUSTOMER was ALWAYS RIGHT. Now, corporations (read: evil) view the customer as a NUISANCE who is making it difficult to MAXIMIZE THEIR PROFITS.

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  96. Also, WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH RETURNS TAKING SO LONG IN THE STORE? It seems like EACH ITEM takes 5 minutes, while the store employee snobbishly peers down their nose at their screen, tapping away. I don't get it. I was so irritated this weekend by how long I stood there for 3 items, I thought about writing the company. And it isn't new employee syndrome, it happens every time. Are they looking at all of my purchases since I use a J Crew card? Paranoid, I know. Maybe if it's an online invoice, but even my store receipted merchandise takes SO LONG. It's a very uncomfortable process. Can you imagine if their store employees were as friendly as their online/phone employees? THAT is customer service. Going into the J Crew stores here is downright uncomfortable. And there are 3 stores, all the same. We run into one or two friendly employees, but it's not the norm. Then I went to ATL to do a return, and it was like day and NIGHT. SO FRIENDLY and efficient.

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  97. This seems to be a particularly feisty day JCAs! I've enjoyed everyone's point of view and if I may, I'd like to put in my two cents on the return debate.Numero uno: My daughter works part time at that huge retail omnibus, WalMart. She has endless stories of the tales people tell when they are returning goods. However, JC is not such a behemoth.(P'raps this is the bargain retailer Mickey wants to distance himself from?)Why can they not have a more intuitive return policy, one that would differentiate between a large, multi item return with a receipt, versus a no-ticket return of a couple of ratty Tshirts. (Customer: I'm sorry I don't have a receipt, but you have to understand, my friends did an intervention. They said, no more disposable Tees! and it worked!" Sales Associate: "I'm so happy for you and your loved ones")Secondly, I'm afraid JC is the victim of being shopped by its former loyal customers. That sequined top looked pretty good a couple of months ago,but now AT, Talbots, Nordstrom, whomever, has a similar top, except it's ten dollars cheaper, maybe a prettier color, better made, ie, perhaps OMG, ITS LINED!, (sorry, almost fell off my soapbox) and the JC top is going back to the store. Thirdly, having worked for the esteemed Dillards in my former life, I know that sometimes the more affluent customer can be more of a challenge to deal with than those of us who actually earn our dollars. They feel that they are entitled to some special, shall we say, privileges, that others are simply not."Well, my dear, you know Swoosie at Ralph's wouldn't think twice about doing this for me." JC wants to attract the recessionistas-well, maybe they have, by the droves.

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  98. I worked retail as well, and the abuse of policies is rare; most people are busy and if anything, don't return things they meant to or wanted to. J Crew is not being transparent about this move, the bottom line is always profit, remember that we live in a capitalist country. J Crew is probably seeing all the donkey punching we do with full price returns and re-buying when the item is on sale. They don't like that, it affects their bottom line. And we know how whiny stockholders are.

    Christy, HILARIOUS. Seriously. You were in the ranks of WFF with that post.

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  99. I thought a lot of you would appreciate this--I was at the MOA and asked the manager if they would be getting cashmere (I have never seen or touched J Crew cashmere). He said it was looking unlikely. Then he started "educating" me on cashmere, and said that actually, the more quality the yarn (fine), the MORE LIKELY IT IS TO PILL. Thus, lower quality cashmere pills less. I am no cashmere expert, but this seemed odd that he brought this up without ANY prompt from me, although in my head I was recalling what JCAs have said about J Crew cashmere, and that I would be unlikely to buy it anyway. He must have read my mind.

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  100. The mall guy was spouting capitalistic propaganda, Amy. I have Ralph Lauren & Donna Karan cashmeres that are over 15 years old and NO PILLING. I have a cashmere sweater of my Mom's that is -- well, she would ground me from the grave if I gave details, but it is quite old, and comes from whatever that fine Scottish manufacturer was, and NO PILLING. I understand that pilling comes from how the yarn is processed, not how thick or thin it is. And as for those long stringy fuzzy things…

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  101. This bull about being lumped in with low end retailers is a haughty employee speculating. My arse. Macy's return policy is SIX MONTHS. Seasonality IS part of it, I still have a moto cardigan (thick knit) in my drawer, waiting for the cold weather. Even 45 days is more acceptable. And with a receipt, one should ALWAYS be offered in store credit. I don't care if any retailer says NO RETURNS without a receipt. That's fair. But when we have a receipt, this "new" policy is unacceptable.

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  102. WFF, that 15 year old cashmere you have, well, it must be very poor quality (wink).

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  103. Great posts today, people!

    Regarding cashmere - better quality cashmere has longer threads, so they are less likely to "break loose" and pill. Cashmere comes in all sorts of thicknesses - that's not necessarily the benchmark for its quality. They LENGTH of the fibre is. Shorter lengths are cheaper to get. That sales guy was full of crapola. Heck, I've got a cashmere sweater from BR that's about 10 years old now, and pills only very slightly. My J. Crew stuff is dreadful for pilling. They've cut back on quality, just as they've cut back on the amount of fabric they can get away with using (shorter lengths on dresses/skirts) - it all affects the profits.

    We've been so inundated with news and articles about how incredibly well J.Crew has done in a difficult retail landscape, blah blah blah...

    I wonder if/when we're going to start seeing articles about how things have crapped out?? And that maybe they've made mistakes after all, and now they're having to let quality, customer service, etc. decline in order to make up for it? A smart journalist would jump on that angle.

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  104. For me personally, I find this change in return policies by J. Crew to be quite annoying but not in the least surprising when you considered some of the past policy changes J. Crew has implemented {no free shipping for all items ordered via red phones, no student/ teacher discount applied to online orders, no stacking multiple promos, ect.} It’s another piece of drama in the saga that is As the J. Crew World Turns.

    It’s not a matter of 30 days not being enough time for me to decide whether or not I want to keep an item as I will usually make up my mind whether or not I am going to keep an item that I order online within 5 minutes of pulling it out of the box. If I find that I don’t like the item or it doesn’t fit back it goes to the store immediately. And generally, I don’t find that I return items that I buy in store often since I can see it in person and try it on.

    However, I will say that a lot of times I find that I purchased an item at full price and have yet to wear it and lo and behold, 3 weeks later it is marked down and floating around in final sale. Other times I will order an item that I think might sell out in my size and return it if the item does not sell out and is marked down within the 60 day return period. I do have I rule that the item must be marked down more than 25% of what I originally paid. I don’t see anything wrong with this practice. The items I return are new and in unworn condition with tags attached and I have my receipt. I am not violating any policies. Yes, it is a lot of returning on my part and I am sure that J. Crew doesn’t like it, but then again, I don’t like the feeling of overpaying for an item, esp. in light of J. Crew’s declining quality and escalating prices.

    Of course, a 30 day return policy would make it harder for me to hold on to an item, return it and re-purchase the same item at a lower price but hey, if that is J. Crew’s new policy then it is what it is and there is nothing I can do about it. It will just be one more thing that I will add to my list of issues that I find with J. Crew and when you combine them all it results in me spending less of my money with J. Crew.

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  105. I expected this and will just be more conscious of the return timetable. My problem is procrastination in getting returns back to them. I'm not going to boycott or badmouth as I feel the current return policy is and has been more than generous to the consumer.

    Never fear, I'm sure they'll extend some 'one-time courtesies' and still issue returns/exchanges for defective merchandise.

    TeriLynn13, I received the canvas catalog too. They're having fun & make the clothes look good but I've found I still need to check items out in person...everything hasn't been as good as it looks (like w/any retailer).

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  106. Amy, I agree, it takes FOREVER to process one simple return no matter how organized I am. Whether there is a line when I arrive or not, there is always one behind me when I leave. I have to mentally prepare myself to get the stink eye from both the customers and associates when I make returns.

    FYI, I also got the same comment on the pilling last year during the holiday season. I actually googled it at the time thinking that it couldn't be right (it wasn't). But the SA tried to make it a selling point...our cashmere pills which is the sign of quality.

    For the record, I own many JC cashmere sweaters so I'm not putting it down, but the sales pitch needs some work :)

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  107. I have enjoyed reading these comments today more than I've enjoyed reading any JC catalog in the last several years.

    Anyone looking for a new place to check out might do well to check out Boden's peers in the UK: Wrap London and Pure Cashmere (great quality stuff).

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  108. Sorry, everyone - I meant the Pure Collection.

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  109. I'm like Hexicon ... I know right away if I'm going to keep something and return it promptly if I'm not to get the credit back before the billing cycle ends. I hate it when the purchase and return don't end up on the same statement . . .you pay for something you don't have any more. I know a little OCD ... but I am an accountant. :)

    This policy won't really affect me. More so, I'm holding off on purchases because mark-downs come so fast!

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  110. I'm not surprised with this at all. I've gotten used to being disillusioned with JCrew. It was a shocker when I realized there was a NOTICEABLE decline in quality only in the last 2 years. The GAP/BR 30 day return policy definitely curbed my shopping and this will do the same thing. Honestly, it will just make weaning off the crewlade that much easier. So for that, JC, thank you!

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  112. OK I just have to chime in.

    1) Mickey does it again. You'd think he'd learn from mistakes. Trendy will kill. "in his later years at Gap he cranked out racks of too trendy clothes; at J. Crew he's all about the classics" AND A bet on trendier, sexier clothes failed to pay off, and suddenly Drexler was out. Both quotes from Fortune Magazine. Nuff said.

    2) I think JCrew may have a really big problem with fraud, so could understand requiring a receipt. 30 days is ridiculous. When BR changed their policy, I stopped shopping there. Period. full stop. Have not been back even once. Not sure I could do the same for JCrew. I think I will switch to no full price EVER. Should not be a problem as markdowns happen in a week or two.

    3) J Crew cashmere has definately gone down hill. My husband noticed comparing the sweater I bought him as a gift when we were first dating - 10 yrs ago - with the one from last year. Even he can tell the difference. JCrew should give it up and be honest. "We lowered the quality so we could make more money" Don't offend our intelligence.

    4) Interns. Please suggest that JCrew do a customer satisfaction survey. See href="
    http://www.smartmoney.com/investing/stocks/3-stocks-with-customer-satisfaction-appeal/"

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  113. As I said earlier, I work for BR, not JC, but for us, regardless of the date on the receipt, exceptions have always been made for legitimate quality issues and I would hope that JC would do the same. And for anyone who's ever any issues anywhere, I can tell you that being nice to the SA will usually get you much further than being upset and defensive. I'm much more likely to bend the rules for someone who is nice to me and who I know is a loyal customer. It pays to make friend with the SA. They have more power than they'll tell you. :)

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  114. I apologize if this has already been stated, but I am just quickly returning to this post after reading it earlier today and don't have time to read each comment:

    I emailed J Crew today about the new policy to confirm that it won't apply retroactively (as the J Crew store receipt says to see the J Crew website for the return policy-so one could argue that they could legitimately change it at anytime).

    Anyway, the customer service rep replied that the new policy will effect purchases starting Sept. 17th. It will be 30 days for store purchases and 60 days for web and catalog purchases.

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  115. While it may be true that most customers make returns in 30 days or less after purchase (I try to do it within same monthly billing cycle), I would prefer & appreciate the ability to have a longer return period for several reasons:

    Like many here, I buy some high-ticket items early in the season & at full price if I think it may sell out then later decide I don't like it as much as I thought when it finally is cool/warm enough to wear it. When a retailer's return policy won't allow me to do that (I'm ok w/store credit), then my shopping there drops significantly. I now rarely shop BR, Gap, Saks & Dillards because of that policy and I had concentrated most purchases at JCrew & Anthropologie because of their more generous timeframe.

    If that's going to change, then it will severely curtail my shopping (no more impulse buys, many of which I end up keeping, no final sale) and spend more of my clothing dollars at Anthro & Nordstrom and maybe even back to Macys where I have a more time to decide.

    That comment about boutiques is bunk; JCrew is not a boutique (items aren't that special, in fact their merchandise is ubiquitous). Sad to see this happen, but it'll wean me off the crewlade even more quickly.

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  116. Until last year I hardly ever had items to return. Then I started returning items once every quarter because there weren't that many and shipping from Canada can add up. Now I am shipping returns every month and I have another box here ready to go. Quality and style, for my taste anyway, have really declined.

    I sure hope they don't make it 30 days for online orders because frankly it often takes over two weeks for orders to make it to my house and I don't always have time to try items with other pieces to see if it is a must-keep. And quite honestly, I often learn about quality and fit issues on this blog and will check my items to see if they have the same symptoms. More than once I've found a similar problem mentioned here and returned an item because of it. I am so thankful to the many JCAs who help in this regard.

    David, Dillards brings back fond memories of shopping with my mother and grandmother. Oh, how I miss living in the south. As soon as I read your post the jingle "Merry Christmas magic at Dillards! came into my head." sigh... :^(

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  117. If Whitney sounds like a young person, Amy you sound like a cranky old person. I see nothing "20" something about what Whitney is saying; she's merely speaking in terms of reality.

    I'm not defending JC's decision——I'm usually neutral on these topics because I understand both sides of the issue.

    I do agree with the other members who return their things right away. 30 days is tight, 60 days is generous and 90+ is excessive. Unless you're ordering online and shipping time is eating up the days, there is no reason to be sitting on merchandise that long. I have two jobs, work every day, am a full-time student, have a family and manage to squeeze a life in there, too, and my stuff is returned within days.

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  118. Just to add to J Crew negativity: in addition to the unacceptable amount of time it takes to do a return, what retailer does not allow you to sort by price on their website? And apparently they are spending all their money on chat windows that stalk you, as opposed to quality fabrics, or perhaps a user-friendly website that allows you to zoom in on an item just by hovering your mouse over it.

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  119. Emily, while I've also done it, I suspect customers returning and re-purchasing the same item at a lower price is one of the main reasons for this change,

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  120. Nicole, glad to hear you are so on top of everything! Perhaps you could throw in the Miss America pageant, I think your qualifications are obvious. Unfortunately, I do not always get back somewhere in 30 days, although often I do. Summer is busier, and what if it takes me 35 days? While I can "see" both sides of an issue, I choose to take the side of the consumer, not a greedy, profit-driven corporation with no conscience. Also, since funds are tight for me, if something goes on sale for a significant amount of money 32 days after I buy it, I WILL rebuy it and return the other. Why? Because I can sleep at night having paid under $50 for an item that will likely only last a season. It is unsettling watching the market throw crap, mass produced goods at us for top dollars, with zero quality control. Don't companies get it? This is why many people quit buying American cars and bought foreign. Although, now even the foreign companies are producing crap and expecting a compliant, non-complaining public to swallow it. And the less we complain, the further they push. The way it's been going in the last 5 years, stores will have 7 day return policies and need to give you permission to shop there.

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  122. Nicole,

    IMO (and many other that posted today). No way is 60 generous or 90days excessive. Yes, we all lead busy lives but unfortunately running to the mall does not make up the majority of my life. I usually make it there once every 2-3 months at most. And no JCrew close by....

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  123. Speaking of consumer unfriendly, I absolutely QUIT shopping at the Limited completely when I learned last year that their return policy is CAPPED at $350 for a 3 month period, WITH A RECEIPT. I might be one of the most indecisive people on the planet, and this did not sit well with me. What if I order a couple sizes online to see which is going to fit? What if I wake up the "morning after" and wonder why on earth I bought that shirt? That could be half of my "allotment" right there. I don't want to have to worry about such a ridiculous limit when I have a legitimate receipt. Now they downgraded my credit card to "classic" status. Betcha this sort of "limit" is next for other stores, too.

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  125. Amy,

    While I am not happy about the policy changes happening at J.Crew, and while I completely agree that Jenna and Mickey should not try to emulate the business models of small boutiques (because J.Crew is nowhere near a boutique), I think it might be a bit extreme to glaze over all corporations as evil beings that view their customers as nuisances.

    Once upon a time, not so long ago, our economy was much healthier than it is today. I'm sure most people in their twenties understand the concept of customer is always right, but at the end of the day, yes, your so-called "evil" corporations are trying to make a profit.

    I personally am going to take this change in policy as another catalyst to re-evaluate my shopping patterns. I think Whitney did make an astute point that we as customers are not entitled to no-questions-asked returns. It certainly is frustrating that the shorter return window comes at a time when J.Crew has steadily been charging higher prices for their declining-quality items... but if a shopper does not agree, they are free to take their business elsewhere. Unfortunately for J.Crew, I think a large part of their customer base begin purchasing in much smaller quantities if this policy stays in effect.

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  126. But it IS my right to be allowed a no-questions-asked return IF I HAVE A RECEIPT. It is NON of their business WHY I changed my mind, and it's my right to do so. If someone loses their receipt, I could care less if they are stuck with the item, because who knows how they got it and for how much. But with a receipt, it should be a *quick*, painless return like I appreciate from Kohls or Target. Many stores don't even require a receipt now, with credit card look up abilities. I do not go anywhere during the week, as I am usually exhausted from work. That leaves, at most, 4 weekends to do returns. Since I do shop at other stores, have a life, and don't want to do returns every single weekend, this adds to my anxiety, even if I usually do returns quickly. Also, the seasonality piece is HUGE. It will be 90 degrees here, and they are selling thick wool sweaters in the stores. I will not be buying out of season items ahead of time anymore, thanks to their inflexibility. Regarding the economy, never forget that it was unregulated, unbridled capitalism and stockholder greed that got our economy into this mess in the first place! So yes, corporations are evil in that they ALWAYS put dollar before conscience, or they would not be in business. And stockholders want the bottom line to constantly improve, hence the reduction in quality and the higher stock prices.

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  127. BTW, it's the same Amy. My cat was euthanized two days ago, so the baby picture is a tribute. I need to choose a more unique username.

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  128. It's called having your shit together.

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  130. I don't understand your problem with this new policy. You are allowed to return if you have a receipt, and I don't think part of the new policy requires that you give an in-depth explanation for why you chose to return. Yes, J.Crew does have an antiquated and painfully slow register system, but that does not infringe on any of your rights.

    Like I said in my previous comment, I'm pretty upset about the changes that are going to take place. I understand the seasonality reasons, and that sometimes people just don't have the time for quick returns, even if that is usually the norm. I get it. I also don't need an economics lesson, as I earned my degree in econ. The only thing I felt was a bit extreme was calling all corporations evil. We are a capitalist society and that obviously drives a lot of companies to put profits first... however, there is a percentage of the corporate world that does try to be socially responsible. My point is, calling all corporations evil is not really relevant to a change in return policy at J.Crew.

    As for the blanketed attack on people in their twenties, I have my opinions on generations other than the one I belong to, but I do not express them on a J.Crew blog.

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  131. Only 2 things come to mind when I heard this disappointing news:

    Land's End: "Guaranteed. Period.
    If you're not satisfied with any item, simply return it to us at any time for an exchange or refund of its purchase price."

    LL Bean: "Gauranteed. You have Our Word. Our products are guaranteed to give 100% satisfaction in every way. Return anything purchased from us at any time if it proves otherwise. We do not want you to have anything from L.L.Bean that is not completely satisfactory."

    These policies also apply the the LE Canvas line and the LL Bean Signature line. Which I will now be shopping at more.

    So the moral of the story is no, I do not think it is too much to expect a company to stand behind the products they sell. Having only a 30 day return policy is like J Crew saying we only trust our clothes to last for 30 days.....And that's about where they're at now days.

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  132. This page just refreshed and erased my response about corporations, what drives them, and how they relate to this very blog topic. I give up.

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  133. Speaking of returns, I've noticed that The Gap has a horrible exchange policy now. I bought some shoes online that were too small and I wanted to exchange them. I bought them on a great sale and they would only let me return them, and re buy at full price!! I guess no more even exchanges. They said they won't do even exchanges on online items.

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  134. Shane, wow, I wonder if that's policy or a certain employee you happened to luck upon. I will say that my boyfriend went there about a month ago to return a shirt, unworn, tags attached, and the girl working there SMELLED THE ARMPITS right in front of him! ????!!!! And my boyfriend was dressed nice, as he was on lunch from work, so that certainly could not have been her excuse. Strange. Usually Gap returns are more than amicable and friendly.

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  135. shane - for future reference, if you get something on a great online sale at Gap stores and need to exchange, you can call their customer service line and they will place a new order for you for the item you want at the price you originally paid. Then you can return the original to the store so that you don't have to pay to ship the item back. I have done this in the past and it's worked out great, even though it's something that they don't really advertise. The B&M will give you that whole "online and B&M are separate stores" line. It's a little inconvenient because there are stores all over the place, but if you want to maintain the original price that's what you should do. Hope this helps for the future!

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  136. Jeanne: You hit the nail on the head, buying and returning at a lower price is one of the main reasons for the change in policy.
    I have shopped alor at BR, Gap lately, the quality is better imo.

    I am with Hesicon I make up my mind right away I do not like keeping things around for awhile because I might forget about them.

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  137. just as long as we don't forget who lowers the prices in the first place -- and why.

    Aren't both sides, buyer and seller, supposed to have bargaining power?

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  138. I have thoroughly been enjoying perusing this website until we began attacking each other. Let's try to remember to be open to others' opinions, especially when they differ from our own.

    My view on the policy change follows the majority - definitely disappointed. I am mainly an online shopper and am able to get great deals (and free shipping thanks to you JCAs :) but also work in healthcare where the hours are long and the days tiring. I rarely shop in the malls since I rarely am out of the hospital during the opening hours. Post-call days I just sleep. Hence my window to return is small each month given the schedule and fatigue. I appreciate that they did not change the online 60 day return because though I aim for the 30 day, I often miss it for 35 or 40.

    I'm sure they will eventually change it to be 30 day online and then my support will have to stop. It simply takes too long for the package to arrive in the first place - further liimiting my options for returning something, if needed.

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  139. There have been many changes in the retail world lately with consumers and retailers reacting swiftly to various pressures. I'm not talking necessarily about clothing but overall, the times they are a-changing as my dad would say. I really hope that the economic downturn will result in a paradigm shift, and not just for J.Crew and we JCAs. IMHO, it would be great if consumers shifted more toward purchasing higher quality clothing, shoes and accessories, buying fewer pieces each season and possibly even more locally-made items. I detest disposable fashion and always try to go for quality over trends, which is boring for a lot of people who want the latest styles and I'm not dissing that either, just different approaches to dressing.

    Companies have to make a profit because unless they are a non-profit, that is why they are in business, period. It's the same reason we expect to get paid when we go to work, we're not being greedy, it's just life in a capitalist society and I'll take that any day over the alternative, if there really is one. Many companies do care about customers and employees but they are getting squeezed now and need to take action to stop the bleeding. I'm sure the rebuying after price adjustments has been a huge factor recently, I've done it myself and saved literally hundreds of dollars due to the drastic discounting of late. If I saved - and in effect cut back - that much, multiply that exponentially and think of the impact. J.Crew has to do something to stem the flow of red ink.

    At the end of the day consumers will once again be "retrained" on how to shop at J.Crew and other stores and the retailers will also be re-educated on how to entice consumer behavior in response. it's a never-ending cycle and I only hope there are some positives in the long run, like better quality.

    JMPO

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  140. To be clear, I'm not condoning the policy changes at J.Crew because I quite enjoy rebuying at a lower price when I haven't worn the full price NWT tags item in my closet. I do understand though, that desperate times call for desperate measures, whoever or whatever you are.

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  141. In my opinion, there are several alternative options to unregulated capitalism. And I don't feel sympathy for the companies "losing" money or having to "tighten their belt", because we all know in the end it's the employees (cuts in benefits) or consumers (higher prices, lower quality, or both) who pay for it. Not the CEO's who make billions. One good example is outsourcing to get cheap goods as cheap as possible. China, for example, has absolutely no environmental regulation, so of course it's going to be cheaper to make goods there, dump the waste product into the water, and make your bottom line look really nice. I don't have an issue with profit, that is indeed what a for-profit it meant to do. It's more the constant push for MORE profit, at all costs.

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  142. xoxo, I completely agree with you. At the end of the day J.Crew does have to do what they feel is necessary to maintain healthy profits. While it is disappointing that they are implementing a shorter return window, and most JCAs (myself included) are not thrilled about the upcoming changes, I would rather have a shorter amount of time to return pieces than have no J.Crew to buy clothes from at all. There are obviously a multitude of solutions that could be employed to improve a company's financial health, and changing the return policy may not be the best way... but at the end of the day that is what the head honchos at the Crew decided on.

    Since the policy change is something they feel must be done, I hope that it will only be a temporary change (like other similar retailers have gone through). I certainly don't view J.Crew as an "evil" corporation. If I did, I wouldn't shop there.

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  143. Amy, my sympathies on the death your cat. Our pets are so near and dear to us it is always a tragedy when one passes on. I wish you comfort and fond memories reviewing your photographs.

    Andrea, I hope you are right and they will change the policy to something a little more flexible. For myself I may just curtail the online shopping for a bit. I feel less and less inclined to pull the trigger these days.

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  144. This is not good and I think it will hurt them in the end. What I found when BR changed their policy is that if I was on the fence with a particular item, then I would return it for fear of going past the 30 days. In the past, the longer I kept it, the more likely I would have found time to work it into wardrobe. I need to stop shopping to this will force me to do so.

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  145. This is not good and I think it will hurt them in the end. What I found when BR changed their policy is that if I was on the fence with a particular item, then I would return it for fear of going past the 30 days. In the past, the longer I kept it, the more likely I would have found time to work it into wardrobe. I need to stop shopping to this will force me to do so.

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  146. i think we're spoiled here in the US with really generous return/exchange policies, as friends of mine in Europe or Asia are always shocked when they shop here and see the various flexible store policies. i think in general 60 days is way too long for getting you to make up your mind about wanting to keep something or not. plus, it's probably in the best (hygienic) interests of all of jcrew's customers that people won't be able to return something that has likely been worn/washed/sitting in the bottom of someone's closet for 3 months...

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  147. I think J. Crew has gotten a little bit too big for their Matchsticks! :)Many larger and more upscale stores like Nordstrom have liberal return policies. J Crew is a mass merchandiser--their merchandise is in every mall across America, it averages around $100 or less. Smaller boutiques need short return times due to cash flow, but J. Crew is not a small boutique. I am really getting over my infatuation with them.

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  148. BTW for those concerned about J.Crew's profitability; this information is from our own JCA on
    August 27, 2010:
    J.Crew's profit almost doubled in the quarter ending July 31, hitting $34.9 million, from $18.6 million a year earlier.

    They aren't even close to needing our sacrifices.

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  149. Totally disappointed in this. Tried to return the Alpaca Long Cardigan (i.e. most itchy sweater created) at a J. Crew store the other day. I had purchased it with a gift card which, of course, I didn't keep after the purchase and I no longer had the receipt. There was "nothing they could do for me". So I'm stuck with a $118 sweater I can't keep on for more than 2 minutes. I was so irritated I canceled my J. Crew card that day. The accommodating customer service is a big reason I've been such a loyal customer for years. Will be shopping elsewhere.

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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! :)