J.Crew Sends Apology Letter for `Issues' in Orders (Update2)
By Heather Burke
July 30, 2008
J.Crew Group Inc., the clothing retailer run by former Gap Inc. Chief Executive Officer Millard Drexler, apologized to customers, asking shoppers to excuse problems with Internet and phone orders in the past few weeks.
"We know we've let you down,'' Drexler, 63, and President Tracy Gardner said in the apology sent to customers by e-mail today and posted on the Internet site. J.Crew is making "enhancements'' to its site and call center and "unfortunately, encountered some bumps along the way,'' they wrote. "We've made some mistakes (too many in our mind),'' the executives wrote in the statement. "Please bear with us as we work through these issues.''
The retailer's Web site wasn't accessible as of 1:47 p.m. New York time and showed a "Be back soon'' note. As of 2:30 p.m., the site worked and had the apology note on the home page.
J.Crew, a men's and women's clothing retailer known for khaki shorts, chinos and cashmere sweaters, fell $1.11, or 3.7 percent, to $28.98 as of 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has dropped 40 percent this year through today.
In the first quarter, Internet and catalog sales comprised 30 percent, or $100.9 million, of New York-based J.Crew's total revenue.
A recent upgrade to search and zoom functions online has caused some issues when shoppers place orders, J.Crew spokeswoman Margot Fooshee said today in an e-mail without elaborating. "In our eyes, any inconvenience to our customers is unacceptable,'' she said.
"As a result, we proactively wanted to address them through an e-mail and on our home page, letting them know that they might experience some delays,'' Fooshee said, adding that shoppers were notified the company was trying to fix the problems immediately.
I am pleased to see that J.Crew put this notice on their website. However, I have a few issues with what Ms. Fooshee had to say. First, I don't think the website/system fiasco was in direct relationship to the new "search and zoom functions". I seriously doubt that is what is causing ghost orders, false charges, delayed shipping, etc. But, I could be wrong. ;) Second, I don't agree with the terms "proactive" and "immediately" used in her quote. ("Proactive" & "immediately" would have been appropriate actions a month ago.) Third, the quote "any inconvenience to our customers is unacceptable" bothers me- considering customers were inconvenienced for over a month, (without any apology notice before).
...I realize I come across a bit harsh on the Crew. I love them, I really do! However, I want J.Crew to be completely upfront and honest about the situation. I think we would all be more understanding of the situation if they let us know what was going on from the beginning. I would even be understanding if J.Crew decided to shut down their website completely in order to fix it properly, (instead of this half-working site we have now.) :)
What do you think of the articles and J.Crew's comments in the article? What do you think of the situation?
* * * * * * * * * * * *Mini Update: "Thanks!" also to Lauren (in the post "Article on J.Crew Apology") who let us know that the Consumerist had a mini-article on this situation as well. (Click here for link.)
J.Crew Apologizes For Bad Website, But That's All They Do"
A dozen readers (and probably a couple of PR flacks) must have forwarded us J.Crew's email today, in which the CEO and president of the company extend a mutual apology for the non-workingness of their "enhanced" website and call center. Oddly, the email simply asks customers to "bear with us" but doesn't offer any discount or sale. Well, maybe they figured driving more traffic to a broken site would only make things worse.