First, it was the Globe and Mail who covered J.Crew's higher prices in Canada (refer to the "Dear J.Crew, Stop Double Charging International Customers" post). Now there is more coverage. "Thanks!" to Sudu (in this post) who shared the following article from the Star (click here to read in its entirety):
Higher Canadian prices irk J. Crew customersIt is good to see continuing media attention on this topic. I am still hopeful that J.Crew will reconsider their current pricing strategy for international customers.
By Dana Flavelle
August 22, 2011
Popular U.S. retailer J. Crew opened its first store in Canada to long line-ups and immediate controversy over its pricing strategy.
Like many other U.S. retailers, the preppy fashion chain is charging higher prices in Canada than in the U.S., on average 15 per cent more before taxes.
The move has annoyed some of its Canadian customers, who believe Canadian prices should be on par with the U.S., given the currencies are roughly equivalent.
J. Crew has responded to customers with a letter signed by President Jenna Lyons that said the retailer is taking the concerns very seriously.
“The change in cost for merchandise purchased in our stores and online as necessary to keep pricing consistent with our new – and expanding – retail operations,” the letter said.
“However, we understand your concerns and will continue to work to provide you with an excellent online shopping experience. For J. Crew, the reception to our new store in Canada has been nothing short of extraordinary,” the letter also said.
The disparity is particularly noticeable online, where the final prices on J. Crew’s Canadian site are as much as 40 per cent higher than on its U.S. site once taxes and shipping are added.
For example, the U.S. price for a pair of Café Capri plaid wool pants is $138 while the Canadian price is $160, a difference of 15 per cent. Once shipping and taxes are added, the U.S. price is $159, while the Canadian price is $223, a difference of 40 per cent.
Many Canadians are familiar with J. Crew’s U.S. prices because they previously ordered online from the U.S. site, or drove to border stores such as the one in Buffalo to make purchases.
The controversy has taken some of the shine off J. Crew’s widely anticipated move into Canada.
There were long lineups outside on opening day at the Yorkdale shopping mall store last Thursday, Aug. 18, its first outside the U.S. market.
J. Crew isn’t the only U.S. retailer to charge higher prices in Canada. Many retailers do so, citing the higher cost of doing business in a smaller market and also higher government-mandated duties and tariffs.
Do you think J.Crew will change its current pricing strategy for international customers? In particular, will they revert back their Canadian pricing to before the site upgrade?