Success is in the details for J.Crew CEO (with video)There is another article over at Straight.com (click here) that has additional images of the Vancouver J.Crew store that is worth checking out.
By Darah Hansen
May 15, 2012
Minutes before a cocktail party celebrating the opening of the new J.Crew store on Robson Street set to begin, CEO and chairman Millard “Mickey” Drexler was still putting the final touches to the overall look of the space.
With Drexler, the Bronx-born businessman who’s been called the “Steve Jobs of retail”, success is all in the details.
“Can someone please cover her stomach,” he called to a sea of staff members busying themselves around the gleaming 5,953 sq. ft., two-storey shop in reference to a faceless mannequin set up at the front doors.
Drexler had earlier asked that the clothing on the same mannequin be changed. Her initial outfit, selected from the New York-based retail company’s new spring and summer collection, was beautiful, but too trendy.
Vancouver calls for a more relaxed vibe — a look, eventually achieved with a pair of pink toothpick jeans and poppy-coloured silk blouse, that says “Come into my home,” he said.
Drexler’s brief visit to the West Coast this week was timed to coincide with the launch of his company’s latest expansion into Canada’s thriving retail market.
The Robson location officially opened its doors to the public Wednesday morning, offering its classic clothing line and accessories to both men and women.
The Vancouver store is the only the second to open in Canada after Toronto in August 2011. Plans to launch a third location in West Edmonton Mall are scheduled to go ahead next month. ...
Drexler — who, in his previous career as CEO of The Gap, oversaw that company’s growth from $400 million to $14 billion in sales — said J.Crew has long been eyeing the Vancouver region for cross-border expansion, attracted by the city’s international flair and sense of sophistication.
“It’s very hard to explain, but when you see it you know,” Drexler said of his unique decision-making style on site selection. “It’s a science and an art that gets backed up by demand.”
On a broader note, he said Canada is an “obvious market” for the J.Crew brand. “In hindsight, we could probably could have done it (the expansion) earlier.”
The company has, for years, recorded steady traffic from online and catalogue shoppers north of the border. An abundance of Canadian licence plates on cars parked outside its retail locations in neighbouring cities like Seattle and Buffalo has also not gone unnoticed.
The Vancouver store, in keeping with J.Crew’s carefully groomed image, is designed to provoke a comfortable, inviting and unintimidating reaction from customers. Tucked among the clothing and accessories, beautifully displayed across stylish wooden tables and rails, are paintings by local artists Jeff Depner and Dougal Graham, a book about Audrey Hepburn and, in a nod to the brand’s increasingly broad international appeal, a stylish globe.
“Good taste and good style, I think, plays well everywhere in the world,” said Drexler.
Smerdon said J.Crew’s choice to locate its flagship store downtown is “a great sign for Robson Street that it is still the pre-eminent shopping street in the city and the region.”
Drexler confirmed his company is also eyeing other potential locations in Metro Vancouver, including West Vancouver. ...
I always love looking at the interior of their stores! There is something about seeing the merchandise on the tables, and the clothes on the mannequins- loves it!
Have you stopped by the new Vancouver location? What are your thoughts on the latest store in Canada? Please share! :)