Wednesday, June 17, 2009

J.Crew New Accessories Store {in NYC}

A big "thanks!" to Tweedybird who let us know about some {great} J.Crew news over at WWD (click here). Tweedybird also shared the entire article as well as the following interior shot of the store (also from WWD's article) for us to view. (The exterior image comes from Racked, click here for the original article.)

J.Crew Opens Accessories Store
by David Moin
June 12, 2009

For J.Crew's spunky jeweled flip-flops, antique-styled cut-glass necklaces and sleek minaudière clutches, there's a new showcase in SoHo.

Six days ago, a 500-square-foot space for the brand’s array of accessories, ranging from $7.50 hair clips to $298 Italian leather hobos, opened in the existing J.Crew store at 99 Prince Street. While the store leads easily into the adjacent 2,600-square-foot women’s floor, it feels more like a stand-alone than a shop-in-shop, having a separate entrance, windows and decor. The look is modern, with washed herringbone oak floors and vitrines inset in the walls, balanced by vintage elements like brass jewelry cases and a chandelier.

It’s an appeal based on spirited design and reasonable pricing. “The relative value is pretty compelling,” said Millard “Mickey” Drexler, J.Crew Group’s chairman and chief executive. “I think if a customer can find something that’s relatively well priced and under a certain price, and it’s fun, he or she will buy it.”

Asked to characterize the clientele, Drexler replied, “It’s the same customers shopping the designer stores.” They’re looking to spend less for products with style and of similar quality, he added. “The accessories can go with anyone’s apparel, but frankly we would rather have women wear it with our apparel.”

Among the bestsellers so far: strappy snakeskin and suede sandals, priced $298; leather ballet flats with neon trim, $148; chandelier-style earrings, $75, and antique bracelets with grosgrain bows, $95. “There are not a lot of places that have this level of detail at this price point,” Drexler observed. The shoes and leather bags are all made in Italian factories utilized by designers, and there is a smattering of non-J.Crew product, including a few Rolex watches, priced $2,800 with custom painted dials and Hugo Marie Bib necklaces.

The format is a takeoff of the much smaller “shoe salon” in the J.Crew Collection store at 1035 Madison Avenue. The salon displays some jewelry and handbags, as well as shoes, but without the breadth of product seen in SoHo. J.Crew plans a third accessories shop inside its East Hampton store, though the format is not necessarily a rollout strategy. “Not at all,” Drexler said, when the question was raised. “Right now, we are just thinking that we are loving the feel of it. Customers love our accessories. Nothing is terribly scientific for us. We debated what to use this room for. Probably, it makes the most sense for accessories. It shows off the merchandise more effectively than other stores. Usually accessories, by virtue of [requiring] little space, should be more productive than other categories.”

He also nixed the notion that freestanding accessory shops, independent of a J.Crew apparel store, could one day open. “We’re not thinking separate stores,” Drexler said. “Why have a customer walk to another store? We will always integrate accessories with apparel.”

The accessories shop was previously housed by Crewcuts, which has been relocated to the back half of the 2,400-square-foot lower level, where there was previously men’s wear. J.Crew now operates a men’s store nearby at 484 Broadway, as well as the Liquor men’s store at 235 West Broadway. By removing men’s from the Prince Street store, the children’s, women’s and accessories collections could be better displayed.

The changes on Prince Street also reflect J.Crew’s perpetual fine-tuning, whether it involves fashion or store formats, and its willingness to change and grow while having to work hard to manage inventories during the downturn. In the past few years, the company has launched stores for Crewcuts, men’s wear and Collection. Jewelry was launched in 13 stores in fall 2007, and by holiday 2008 was in all 206 J.Crew retail stores. The company is also beefing up its footwear and accessories catalogue, with the September edition to include an exclusive collection of Italian leather handbags including the Gallery and Minaudière Collections.

As far as the new accessories format in SoHo, J.Crew expects to quickly learn whether it’s working. “After a week or two or three, we should have a pretty good feel,” Drexler said.

This is very exciting news! :) The interior image looks quite lovely. This definitely seems like a great store to visit if one's in the area.

The location for this store is:
99 Prince St
(between Greene St & Mercer St; SoHo Neighborhood)
New York, NY 10012
(212) 966-2739

What are your thoughts on J.Crew's new Accessories store? Do you think this concept-store should be duplicated in other cities? Would you visit (or are planning to visit) this store soon?


  1. Oh, I love it! J.Crew has excellent accessories and I can't wait to visit the new accessories store within the store. Also looking forward to the new bag rollout for September. I missed out on the small gallery bag in tan rose. I'm sure there will be something equally desirable come fall.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Oooh I can't wait to go take a look ... thanks for the head's up!

  3. Definitely will head over soon! :-)

  4. Beautiful, but telling myself it's a good thing I don't live in NYC. (sour grapes, I know)

  5. I suppose I'd be more on the 7.50 hair clips end of the spectrum, but I'd be interested in seeing some of the more expensive accessories, just to understand the "level of detail" Mickey was talking about. I always love J Crew's accessories...but for the price, I'd prefer to buy handmade pieces from a fellow JCA or look for cheaper alternatives elsewhere in the market.

  6. I'll bet the store is pretty!

    Link to selected images from the July 09 catalog .

  7. I think its wonderful.
    Banana republic opened a store with the same theme in CA on may 15th.
    I wish they expand to other cities in the future.

  8. Can't wait to check it out on my next trip to NY!!!

  9. Sounds like a great idea, sort of like the NY & CO stores in most malls (not meant as a dig, just sayin' they have followed this model for years). I have to say that the Soho store is my least fave in NYC since they don't carry a lot of merch compared to other locations. Maybe this add-on will change this location for the better...

  10. I apologize if someone else has already mentioned this --

    I got a Fall Collection "Look Book" in the mail today (in a fluorescent orange mailing envelope).

    The card reads:

    "We wanted you, our J.Crew Credit Cardmembers, to be the first to get a sneak peek of our FALL COLLECTION and pre-order your favorites. Call your personal shopper to get started. Don't have one? Call 800 261 7422 or email to be set up with your style expert."

  11. As a sidenote, I will not be purchasing the feathery/furry vest OR the feathery/furry clutch this fall. Um, ew!

  12. I visited the Soho store last weekend and for me this change is just ok. The room where the jewelry and shoes are housed is very small and if you have a couple of shopping bags, it's hard to move around in there. While I was there, there were about 5 other people in there as well and it felt conjested and I couldn't really look at everything I wanted to. So those of you not in NYC, you are not missing much. Also, I agree with Tina - this location is not my favorite because of the selection of merch and because it is fairly small compared to other NYC stores.

  13. I'm not sure how I would feel about this store. I kind of like to do a one stop shop at J. Crew. I don't want to have to run over to the new store just to see if they have an accessory that might not be available at a regular J. Crew. Seems like a headache. But then again, I guess if you were in NY you more than likely be able to walk to it.

  14. On the one hand, it's very good I don't live in NYC or I'd be broke -- well dressed, but broke.

    On the other hand...JCrew, PLEASE OPEN A STORE IN CANADA!!!

    And Rat, any way you could scan your lookbook for the rest of us to see? :)

  15. Emily, the accessories store is a space within the soho store. You don't need to walk anywhere else, it's just that they have put all the accessories into one room. Mickey was pretty clear on not wanting to create a separate accessories store and thank goodness for that. I often want to try the accessories on with the clothes.

  16. Sounds like pretty bauble heaven, wish I could visit!

  17. Gorgeous! Wish I lived close enough to visit!

    Happy Life: Where is the BR store you mentioned? I'm assuming LA or Bay Area? Does it have some stuff not available online? Just curious :)

  18. Stacie - The BR accessories store is in the Westfield Centre in San Francisco. I *think* it's the only one in California at the moment, but I'm not sure.

  19. Thanks Gigi! I'll have to check it out the next time I'm up there :)

  20. I never got to see the collection store when we stayed at the Palace Hotel (a very Gossip Girl inspired holiday tradition) last christmas so this year i have two stops to make! Check out my daily wardrobe remix, including lost of J.Crew pieces at


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