Tuesday, February 11, 2014

J.Crew in the News: Prices the Same or Lower?

"Thanks!" to Cubbiccino (in this post), as well as others, who shared the following quotes from J.Crew (check out Huffington Post article here to read more):
J.Crew Appeals To The Masses By Balancing Prices
By Jamie Feldman
January 29, 2014

....According to the report in Women's Wear Daily, we can expect more reasonable price tags on the racks at J.Crew as well.

"For spring, you'll see our prices much more friendly this year," said Drexler. "We can't compete with designers. Our Madison Avenue and 66th Street Collection store does an enormous amount of business."
UPDATE: Women's Wear Daily reported Tuesday on comments made by J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler that the company would have "more friendly" prices in 2014. And of course, we all rejoiced. However, it turns out this is not exactly the case.

A representative at J.Crew clarified Drexler's remarks to The Huffington Post, stating that the retailer will not in fact be lowering their prices. The goal, however, is "simply maintaining a balance of pricing across the board and better communicating to our customers what we have and why it is worth the price it is."
The original quote from J.Crew's Mickey Drexler caused quite a stir online last week. A lot of high-fives until J.Crew dropped the second quote. ;)

In all fairness, the first quote totally made it sound like J.Crew was going to start introducing more reasonable prices to avoid lowering them later on. Which would make sense if they were going with the, "let's not run all these sales and have things properly priced, right at the gate" strategy. Especially considering how many things are lingering in the sale section these past few months, even with the additional 40% to 50% off sales.

Well, J.Crew can keep their "balance of pricing" strategy "as is". It is fine with me. Why? Because I can wait a few weeks, when the item I am interested goes on sale. (And 9 out of 10 times, the item goes on sale. HA!)

What are your thoughts on the initial price points at J.Crew? Are they on-target, too high, too low? Share your viewpoint!

26 comments:

  1. This video may be of interest, too. It's some businessy people analyzing the "friendly" pricing statement. Sorry that I do not know how to make it clicky:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/video/what-does-j-crew-s-friendly-pricing-really-mean-zO4lgZRSRhy2JhP7zroTpg.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. I dont think I will spend 1 grand for J Crew Collection coat when I can buy Burberry for the same price. Period. And I want to laugh at the high quality statement. I bought the striped tissue turtleneck and it got holes after only wearing it once! I even tried to replace it, but same thing, holes again. Really cheap quality, and really thin fabric too. Uniqlo does a better job at being cheap but decent. Not all J Crew items are bad, but yeah I won't be buying anything J Crew at full price.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ITA

      I went into the store last week, nothing really special, Tshirts cute but close to $50. No thanks, I will take a trip to JC Factory for better prices and just as good if not better fabric. I know some will disagree on the quality at Factory, but I have not found it so on what I like to buy there. (sweaters/tshirts)
      But I guess someone is buying at full price but the store was empty when I was there

      Delete
  3. Maybe they should finally lower some sale prices to get things moving, it's above the 1700 item mark in the women's section this morning. Wow!

    ReplyDelete
  4. The two conflicting statements are discussed on my blog , with some interesting comments.

    ReplyDelete
  5. this is so ridiculous. especially because, if you check out the sale section this morning, a TON of the new jewelry items just got moved to promo prices. really, the pricing games are what are infuriating to me - and, of course, this conflicting language.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's really a great point, the promos come and go but the prices stay the same. If I'm not buying the sweater at 40% off, I'm not buying it when there isn't a promo. I'm also mystified at the online only items that are coming and going from FS. The Cambridge sweaters are online only and have been FS for a while but I keep seeing them pop back in different colors and sizes. I guess they could be returns from before FS but they aren't likely in store stock being sent back.

      Delete
    2. yeah, I just get frustrated with that, because as most other people have noted, pretty much everything eventually goes on sale. so I never know when to bite. if we get an additional 30 or 40 percent off in the next few days, though, I'll definitely take the plunge on some of the new jewelry.

      Delete
  6. The real reason I shop at JCREW is the quality and the style. I think their prices are high - but the quality and style is also higher than places like BR or Gap etc. Once things hit the sale price (and especially additional % off sale) it's really a great price. I would prefer they keep their quality than lower their prices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree, Cheri. Better quality and more special than Gap, BR etc. For that you pay a bit more, but it's worth it.
      Saw more poly in the new rollouts, not a good idee. Stick to the silks, J Crew

      Delete
  7. My main beef is the design. I took a peek at the sale section and I've never seen so many ugly sweaters in my life. And at 200+ at that. Time to get a new designer. Less items but better quality and designs, please.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well, I just think that's some *really* bad PR. First they say they're lowering prices, then whoops! Sorry! We're still going to overcharge you after all.

    ReplyDelete
  9. OT but idk if everyone else noticed, a lot of "new arrivals" got marked down this morning!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I agree with Jruby18. I don't understand what message Mickey was trying to convey with that statement.

    I bought a ton of stuff from J. Crew this fall and for holiday. I avoided their jeans, because my last two pairs of matchsticks ripped, and in less than a year. I am really hard on my clothes while running around after my toddler, but my way cheaper Gap jeans are still in one piece.

    For me, I find the tees and sweaters to be worth their price, particularly when I use a promo. I love all of my J. Crew jewelry, too.

    I find the shoes to be over priced for me. I rarely buy J. Crew shoes despite their loveliness.

    I also love J. Crew shorts and skirts. They are always worth the price for me, and they last.

    The dresses have been a big miss for me with J. Crew over the past few years. They look so frumpy.

    I think J. Crew goes about post-holiday all wrong. I mean, seriously, I get J. Crew gift cards every year for Christmas, and I don't use them until March. And I'm a J. Crew shopaholic. But, I wan to use my gift cards on things I REALLY want, not the dregs of Christmas past.

    I think it would be nice if J. Crew shaved $10 off the starting price of a lot of items. I think shoppers would really notice and appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Here's my question: you know all the extreme popbacks that we've been seeing the last few days - some items from 3 years ago? Where have all those items been living for the last three years> And why are they releasing them now? So strange.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Mickey has a storage locker :)

      Delete
  12. There were so many markdowns. I have a good amount of them in a new Irl Pic Guide. I'm sure an addtl % off is coming soon. Question is what day and for what amount.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't think J.Crew quite gets it. It's not the price points, or the material quality, or the design. It's all three together, or at least two of them. If I love the design of an item and the quality is good, I am willing to pay (nearly) any price. I might be willing to buy an item if the design is amazing even if the material is less than stellar, but only if the price is right. (AKA low. Very low.)

    But if the quality of materials is low and the price is very high, design becomes almost an afterthought to me. And nothing makes me angrier at the superficial shopping level than when I buy an item that falls apart quickly. That goes for ANY retailer, not just the Crew. If I'm not going to let a luxury brand talk me into spending $700 for a polyester print, I'm certainly not going to let J.Crew do it.

    From a cyclical design perspective I think J.Crew's workwear is excellent right now. I wish they had more! Other than that, a few pieces here and there are catching my eye but the overall collections are not. Even this morning's Fall 2014 presentation wasn't really doing it for me. Inspired by 1920s Berlin? Well that's cool and all, but the designs I saw weren't really applicable to my 2014 NYC life.

    ReplyDelete
  14. *FYI*: Sale items are an additional 30 percent off in-store. Just went to the NYC flagship on my lunch break.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are there still stores that have any sale sections left? One of my local stores had no sale section yesterday and the other one I stopped into last week just had one small rack.

      Delete
    2. The sale section at the NYC flagship was small but appealing (to me at least). I didn't go for sale items but ended up buying some. There were Tippis in a half-dozen colors and a full range of sizes; bi-stretch wool Minnies in a couple colors and plenty of sizes, some basic tees and knits, lots of shoes, a small table of jewelry and accessories, and kids' stuff.

      I got 2 Tippis (one Dark Poppy, one in that caramel brown color) for $35 each. I think they were supposed to be $42 after the extra 30%, but they gave me an extra discount because I had to wait 15 minutes for the sales associate to locate the Dark Poppy Tippi in the computer system when I went to pay for it : /

      Delete
  15. I think the pricing issue is a really interesting topic...I work in the industry and it's something all kinds of brands and retailers sweat over. Price also affects brand identity and perceived value, and it's interesting to consider whether we would get the same rush shopping at J Crew if prices were 20 percent lower to begin with, instead of them starting just outside our comfort level and then being marked down for us to feel like savvy shoppers who got a "good deal". On the other hand, when sales are constant, it can turn into a trap for the retailer. I'm thinking of places like Penneys and Macy's where coupons and sales are a given, and customers are conditioned to wait for a sale, even when full price retail is lowered (case in point: JCP's failed "lower prices everyday" sales strategy). If J Crew thinks their customers are conditioned to wait for markdowns and promos, then they're going to keep their full price retail a little high so they can still make a profit at a discounted price. I might guess that J Crew intends to work harder to sell us, in theory, on the *value* of its full priced pieces, so that we just might jump at them when they're 20 percent off instead of 40 percent off ; )

    ReplyDelete
  16. I frequently find myself thinking I would pay for a retailer that offered more transparency--something like: "It costs us X amount to make and market this item, we need to make Y amount of profit, so here is the final cost." I don't MIND hunting for bargains (sometimes it's fun!), but do get tired of going to places like J.Crew and feeling like their original prices are a straight-up joke, their sale prices are only slightly less ludicrous, and the only time I'm getting close to a decent price is when the sale prices are combined with a healthy additional markdown--say, 30%.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you checked out Everlane? They are transparent about their costs and markups on most items

      Delete
    2. I have! (Just once, though, and I couldn't remember the name of the site, so I was so happy that you mentioned it!) That's totally the business model I would like, but ideally they would offer more types of clothing and less wait-listing...

      Delete
  17. Jcrew's design and style is really at a great price point in my book. It is 90% as good as some higher priced brands, Tibi, Milly, Nanette Lapore, Theory, Kate Spade but at a better price (collection pieces full price are the exception though). I still wait for sales but if there is a piece that is a must have, I will pay full price. I do have my wishes, better quality, not skimping on fabric quality, but overall, JCrew I can't quit u - Quote from Gigi :)

    ReplyDelete

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! :)