Thanks!" to many of you, including A, as well as Suzy (in this post), who shared the following email and information from J.Crew today.
J.Crew is asking their customers what they think about our favorite retailer. A shares that the email asks customers to answer a few questions including the (1) basics like demographics (gender, income, age) as well as competitors customers shop at; (2) shopping habits (how much spent in last 6 months at J.Crew); (3) about J.Crew (like why didn't customers make a purchase, quality of J.Crew).
After completing the survey, the survey said it was "closed". Perhaps the max capacity of customers needed to take the survey was reached?
It will be interesting to see if anything comes out of this marketing method...
Did you get this email from J.Crew? Have you already answered the survey questions? What are your thoughts on this move?
I got the e-mail, but when I tried to answer it just now, I got a message that said the survey is now closed. That was fast, seeing as I only got the e-mail one hour ago.ReplyDelete
Hmm. Interesting. I received this survey and completed it. At the end, it asked if I'd be willing to have my name in a pool of people who might be selected to participate in an additional 75- to 90-minute Internet chat (focus group). It said that if I am selected, I will receive a payment of $50, and it asked for my name and email address.ReplyDelete
I got it and was able to fill it out. That is too bad they closed it, geez.ReplyDelete
I got it and was filling it out. Was interrupted by a phone call, got back to it and I too was shut out. The survey closed? I'm so disappointed.ReplyDelete
Same with me! Sheesh!Delete
I think they got an earful! I wrote pretty much what other JCAs said they wrote in the "Looking to Vent" post. ;)ReplyDelete
I have never given my name at the end of the survey as I don't want to be identified. I know they've sent out these surveys before; has anyone ever been selected for the focus group?
I did receive it and was able to finish before it closed. I was very honest and also was invited to give my contact info to participate in a chat at a future date. We'll see if I get that invite. From the sounds of what others have written, it seems JC really received honest, negative feedback. I hope they listen.ReplyDelete
It must have been closed before the email even came to me. Oh, well.ReplyDelete
I didn't receive it, which I'm bummed about. But I'm glad at least they're getting a clue. I sent an email directly to Dear Leader a few months ago, suggesting they create a customer advisory board so they could learn what people who spend money with them want -- so they could stop making expensive, preventable and (oftentimes) stupid mistakes.ReplyDelete
I got the shock of my life when the head of j crew customer service called me on my cell phone that night, and we talked for about an hour.
Nothing ever really came of it at the time, which is why I never mentioned it here (that and my ensuing personal drama). But maybe they are ready to listen now. That's good news.
Frankly, it's ridiculous to solicit feedback and then have a "closed" survey an hour later. One would think that JC would want to collect more data, not less. Then again, that would assume that they're actually making data-driven decisions.ReplyDelete
Hopefully somebody just bungled something in Qualtrics (the survey engine) and that it will be reopened. I really wanted to take this one.
They may have closed it because the response rate far exceeded their expectations and they filled all their quotas very quickly.ReplyDelete
That's a "finding" in and of itself :)
Yes I agree! They probably don't have the staffing to sift through the amount of survey data that they could have collected.Delete
Now that I'm thinking about it more, who was this survey aimed at? I saw screenshots on Suzy's blog so I assume it was people who made a purchase in the last x number of days since the questions were asking about the last item you bought. If that's the case, then they may not be getting feedback from people that used to buy a lot but aren't buying much anymore. (original)Genny, did you get a survey?ReplyDelete
Survey research is a small part of my job so I'm interested in this stuff. Most of the time, people are so inundated with survey requests that it's like pulling teeth to get a decent response rate - so I'm surprised that JC got so many responses so quickly that they felt the need to close the survey. "Your thoughts and feedback are important to us"...for about a 30 minute window, so quick, hurry!
Please tell me that somebody that was able to take it complained about exposed zippers. ;)
I think it's rude to tell me my thoughts and feedback are important and to close the survey less than 3 hours after the email was sent.ReplyDelete
I just got the email at 1:10pm EDT and am able to take the survey/am taking it now. Weird.ReplyDelete
I received the survey and took it almost immediately. At the end, I was told that I may be asked to participate in a longer chat session. I gave my name / email address. I was very honest about the quality and my frustration at the pricing inconsistencies / games. I also mentioned that I was bored of many of the current offerings and that my J. Crew shopping had decreased in the past year or so.ReplyDelete
I also received the survey. I got it this morning and completed it about an hour ago so I'm confused about it being "closed" to some JCAs. I haven't purchased anything in the last few months and I was very honest about why. I was also invited to be a part of a chat in the future. Heck Yeah, I've got plenty to say!ReplyDelete
I really doubt it's completely "closed," which is why some people are still able to access the survey. The research design will have some type of quota system based on demographics, shopping behavior, geography, purchase history, attitudes toward the brand, attitudes toward other brands ... it could be anything, really.ReplyDelete
They will try to get a representative sample, and while JCAs rock, we are only a small proportion of their customer base in terms of our general level of brand involvement :)
I got the survey this morning, completed it, and was asked for my contact information for the internet chat. If they do select me - they should be ready for an earful. I commented on the dreaded final sale (in theory I don't mind it in store, but when an item goes to final sale online on first markdown is what I find infuriating... how the heck will I know if it even fits on my body??) as well as the discrepancies between B&M and online pricing. About 3 weeks ago I bought the heathered sequin tank for ~$17 in store, and at the time it was still FP $128 online. That's insanity and I would be furious if I was an online-only shopper.ReplyDelete
I got the survey email and filled it out right away- I am so sick and tired of the pricing games and I made sure to let them know.ReplyDelete
Of course I didn't get one. I guess nearly 30 years of loyalty means nothing.ReplyDelete
Same here, I order much less than ever, but as you said... 30 yrs of loyalty must not mean much.Delete
It seems to me that the ultimate survey is the sales numbers. JC is in this to make money (as they should be) so the offerings that many of us dislike (overly short dresses and skirts etc.), are being purchased by an awful lot of people.ReplyDelete
They clearly do lots of testing - all the different on-line promotions, % off variations etc., so my guess is that they're selling tons of clothes and shoes despite the things that annoy me and many other JCA's.
There are some things that JC does that truly baffle me. I have twin girls, and I purchased 16 pairs of shorts in May and June (none from JC although it was the first place I looked). I buy most of their clothes at J Crew but I was shocked at the initial prices of the shorts this season - $45 or $50 was typical. JC's shorts didn't hit a reasonable price until last week, when parents like me have long since made their summer purchases. The Crewcuts sale section is now flooded with kids shorts in all sizes. It is very difficult for me to believe that this was thoughtful business planning.
I believe that JC knows their customer base pretty well (better than other retailers do), but I believe that they make mistakes too.
If the next First Lady chooses not to wear J.Crew, will a certain percentage of their customers remain loyal or leave? Whenever I hear Anna Wintour talking about Mickey Drexler, I wonder if she would have mentioned J. Crew if the Obamas were not wearing it. This has partially led, I think, to the overreaching of the brand. Instead of being a sturdy, classic, sometimes quirky brand, it now seems to aspire to high fashion because of all the hype. I really look forward to seeing how they maintain this balance in the future.Delete
I have a strong feeling that the Michelle spends a little more on her kids than I do on mine! :)
I was fired up and couldn't wait for this post so I left my comments under "Looking to Vent"!ReplyDelete
I started my survey only to have to go to work. When I went back to finish it was locked. I am so mad because I felt like I had alot to say about the 3" shorts, pricing games etc. I hope other like-minded ladies put my thoughts in for me!ReplyDelete
I miss when j crew was privately owned! They made less product so there was rarely things on sale and the prices were higher but so was the quality. It felt more exclusive. I hate buying a shirt for full price then a few months later seeing everyone wearing it because its now half off. They are turning into the crap gap corporation. I'd shop at the gap, old navy or banana republic if I wanted mass market crap clothing. They are going to lose their higher end clientele- if I wanted a 15 dollar tee or a 9 dollar belt I'd shop at target for clothing- that never use to be j crews clientele. They need to make higher quality at full price and stop with the sales- I feel like I'm shopping at a deep discount store. The complaints on this site are interesting- a lot of you complain about the poor quality and the high prices??? Really you think you are going to buy high quality clothing for a low price! go shop at target or old navy if you are looking for discount clothing. I also read a lot of complaints on here about the hemlines- hemlines change from season to season as the trends do! I'm not a teacher or a stay at home mom or a nun- I don't want to wear a hemline to my knee unless its the current trend or its an item like a pencil skirt! Shorter hemlines are in right now and I think j crew is on the modest side of it. J crew is trying to be a fashion forward company- they never use to participate in New York fashion week and run-way shows- I hope they stay away from longer hemlines and dated items like patterned cardigans. If that's your style maybe you've outgrown j crew and should be shopping somewhere like Talbots who market towards a slightly older client and very traditional! I've been a long time client at jcrew- i know a lot of people who have shopped with jcrew from the beginning will understand my vent. Anyway that's my vent! I had no problems filling out the survey and gave my contact info- not sure why some people got a closed survey?ReplyDelete
Very respectfully, I'd like to disagree with one portion of your response. I am a mom and a college teacher. I am 33, so not that terribly old yet. I have plenty of disposable income to spend on fashion and I would like to believe I am J Crew's target audience. And yet I am in the camp for hating J Crew's very short dresses and skirts. I am also 5'9", hence the reason for my dislike of the "trend" of very short hemlines. I do have to shop elsewhere (including Talbots) because of J Crew inability to offer those cute dresses and skirts in tall sizing. I would gladly buy that higher-priced very trendy J Crew dress if I were 5'6" or shorter, or it was offered in tall sizing so it actually covered my butt-cheeks.Delete
I believe that when you read the very numerous complaints on JCA about J Crew's skimpy hemlines, a person's height is probably more of a factor than you realize, and it has less to do with us wanting to be conservative with our fashion. Not everyone is 5'6" and under--and I think that's where many of the hemline complaints are coming from. I don't care how on-trend a short hemline is, if it is made for an average height women, it's going to look like stripper wear on me, and I would expose parts that could get me arrested.
I don't consider myself a nun or ready for the retirement home for making a reasonable complaint that J Crew's current selection of dresses and skirts is too short for my 5'9" frame. They are. A petite or shorter person can always hem up a dress or skirt to a more trendy length, yes, it will cost more, but at least the option is available. A tall person can't add back fabric that isn't there. If J Crew offered most of their cute dresses and skirts in both petite and tall, I think there would be less complaints. Women come in all heights, and as a fashion forward retailer J Crew should be more aware of this.
I'm both younger and shorter (5'3") than Egyptomaniac and I find the hemlines too short these days!Delete
I'm happy to have clothes for weekends, but when the suiting dresses are too short to be office appropriate, that's definitely too short.
Being stylish isn't the only thing that sets JCrew a notch higher than Banana Republic. I also appreciate JCrew's better quality and the use of high quality materials -- silk, linen, and cotton.
Egyptomaniac- I completely understand and I agree they should offer more petite and tall items! And all the cute prints should be available in petite and tall. I was speaking in general terms of their average sizes and just making a point that hemlines change with trends. I don't want to see the hemlines become longer for the average person. But I understand your frustration. Btw- I like your blog;)Delete
Rosie- I'm taller than you so I don't understand how they are too short for you at 5'3. Maybe it's a comfort thing or maybe you have long legs for your height? The average height for woman in the US is around 5'3-5'4. They are going to make clothing for the majority, however the should not exclude talls and petites!
Thanks for understanding Katie! :) I just worry that J Crew is getting mixed messages with complaints/reviews sometimes. I know they read this site, and the more loud voices asking for longer lengths or at least tall/petite options for skirts and dresses the better, I say. Yes, we want our clothes to look on trend, but part of that is being body/shape/height appropriate. If even places like Gap and Old Navy can offer the majority of their dresses in Tall, why can't J Crew? And hasn't the average height of women increased over time?Delete
Another part of (at least my) complaint is the discrepancy between what clothes look like on the models/catalogs and what I actually receive. How can a skirt or dress hit a supposedly super tall model at a nice above-knee spot, but then on me it barely covers my rear? I may be tall, but not as tall as models, I'd think. Why such a difference between what we see, and what we get?
I worry that J Crew thinks that if they start adding in longer hemlines they'll bring in or be associated with an "older" crowd (not that I see anything wrong with that--I can afford to spend way more on clothes now that I'm in my 30s than I could when I was in my 20s, and that purchasing power will probably continue to increase as I get older. J Crew should be courting me fiercely, not turning me away for being over 30). But I think if they add in those longer hemlines smartly--by putting out those cute prints they're known for both in the typical mini skirt but also more in office appropriate (read closer to "real" knee length) and in tall/petite options it would make a world of difference in sales and bringing in a larger and happier customer base.
I wonder what qualifies someone as a "long time client" at JC? I've been shopping there since about '94, when I had to mail in a check with my order, and the order form/envelope was tucked in the middle of the catalog. Anyhoo, I agree that as a 5'10" female, I can't do many of their dresses (and even the gap offers tons of tall options). I do agree with what Katie said about quality - high quality at full price used to be their thing, not so much anymore. I used to shop there and just buy whenever because I knew markdowns and sales were just not part of their business plan. Now, I cringe at paying $200 for a sweater that might be marked down to less than half eventually...Delete
Julie- that made me laugh! The check in the envelope:) yes some of us are really old school! Thanks for understanding what I was talking about in regards to the quality.Delete
I'm 5'4" and I won't wear the short skirts and dresses. Being under 5'6" doesn't mean we like it either! (and I let them know :) ).Delete
While JC is not Target or Old Navy, it has always been a mass market mall brand. The quality is better on most things, but I think it's a stretch for anyone to call it a designer or exclusive label. It's why the ridiculously priced Collection line is aspirational of J Crew. I say this as someone who buys a significant amount from JC, but I have no illusions of it being more than what it is- a quality mall brand.Delete
Agreed - I have enjoyed my J Crew clothes, but I have zero illusions about it being an "exclusive" brand. It's a mall store.Delete
Dated items are, patterned cardigans??These are consistently released and seem to be loved by the majority. In fact, I see a new fall cashmere patterned cardigan.
I also disagree that the quality is ANY different than BR or Gap and I've seen some pretty remarkable progress being made at these 2 stores in very recent time. Tracey is bringing in major J Crew influence at Gap and BR brought in Milly! I say, watch out J Crew and open your minds to the responses your surveys are bringing.
Katie, J Crew is privately owned again.ReplyDelete
You are correct- I meant when it was previously private (that time period) before it went public then private again. Thank you for clarifying:)Delete
I can't believe the survey closed. How do responses only from customers who have the ability to answer personal emails during the work day make up enough responses for a good cross-section of their customer base?ReplyDelete
I got the survey but it closed before I could answer it.ReplyDelete
I made one major purchase a couple months ago, and I love everything I bought, but my dollars for summer clothing have gone elsewhere this year. I find their offerings this year to be very lackluster. Spring had fab stuff, but the summer style guides totally suck. The seven days of discounts made me chuckle. I didn't buy one darn thing.
I'm just baffled by all of the sweater offerings in June and July. It's 95 degrees here in Jersey!!
Usually the August rollout for fall is my fave, so I'm holding out hope! I totally stalked the site this morning hoping for new arrivals.
I guess in the word my biggest complaint about the offerings is that they are incredibly BORING this year. And I loathe final sale. Never shop it; never will.
I always find these complaining threads fascinating.ReplyDelete
Back when JCrew was "classic," you could not have paid me to even give it a first look. Boooooooring. Baggy sweaters, matronly skirts, conservative and far too preppy.
Now I love JCrew. I have the passion of the convert! Total prostyletizer.
My one compliant would be the pricing games. I hate checking back and forth. And I think it's embarrassing for the store staff too. But everything else-perfect shirts, wonderful prints, truly good quality, fashionable items, design collabs-I love it.
Once upon a time BR had that magic. I keep checking to see if it's back at BR. Not yet. I remember when BR pants were made in Italy. No more. Very sad.
Unknown - why do you think "made in Italy" has much meaning? It hasn't for decades.Delete
The JC "made in Italy" shoe campaign is embarrassing. There are still far too many seams and synthetic materials on many of the shoes styles.
Agreed. Embarrassing and BS.Delete
I think J Crew is in market transition gear at the moment. I would expect US prices to gradually approach the international mark up margin. They are suffering from over popularity and it was the feeling relative exclusivity and individuality that made them big. If they lose that they are just another GAP with the same Gap problems. A remedy could be higher mark up lower turnover. Add to this their original big spending demographic, me, is moving into their thrifty years. Which unfortunately for me means my concerns are not the ones they want to hear the most. I would expect most dissatisfaction to come from me or others in and around my age group.ReplyDelete
Even thrifty old me who once worked in product development for some high end fashion houses would cater to the most profitable demographic should that be still be my job.
One of the complaints I hear a lot about is increased use of synthetics fabrics and most assume this is a cost cutting method. In some cases it may be but sometimes a synthetic will give you a much better drape or line and also a good quality synthetic can cost more to produce than natural fibre. Even the highest end names use synthetics. I am pretty sure my grandmother would have turned up her nose at lycra swimwear over a good ol' seersucker number but times a change and I think lycra is great. In the same vein son's 21 year old girlfriend and friends, the up and coming big spenders, couldn't care less about fabric content if the fall and line are right. Stick in the mud natural fabric lovers like me and mine (lycra was given honorary natural status) are no longer big enough spenders for our vote to count. As for quality issues, another oft heard complaint, I believe nominally it may have increased but not in real terms. It is just that production volume has increased.
Finally, as a customer favoured demographic or not I want them the address my preferences but at the same time if I was working for them I don't think I would be changing the tack they are on.
Your perspective is super duper cool. Thanks for sharing!Delete
Completely agree that if I were working for JCrew, I wouldn't change their trajectory.Delete
You know-it's funny. Not everything fits me at JCrew. I don't have the body for a Jewels (sp?) dress, no matter what size I take. And I have yet to find any cafe capris that work for me. But I don't take this personally. I figure that something else *will* work for me.
I agree about synthetics. I started paying closer attention and learned EVERYONE, even high-end designers are using a lot of blends and they are all being made overseas. One has to dig hard to locate US made and then be willing to pay for something they also get to have the pride of wearing. Not a ton of high style clothing to be found in the US made market but I'm anxious to see this become a trend that someone highly creative, chooses to tackle.Delete
hi bugpin! i'm starting to sound like a fangirl or something, but marissa webb's (former jcrew head women's designer) line is made in the US and there are hardly any synthetics. i really like the jacket i found on clearance at Barney's. made in US and lined in silk.Delete
Ooops I didn't realise how long that was until it was published. I guess I got a little carried away. That makes me old, thrifty and long winded. Slinks back to her knitting.ReplyDelete
Jude musings, I loved your perspective, too!ReplyDelete
If J. Crew is in "market transition," they are attempting to move UP the food chain, from a high quality mall retailer to "designer" ... all the Collection, fashion week and Michelle Obama hype, and the shuttling of "thrifty" customers to Factory.
That's a difficult strategy and they are feeling the pain in unhappy customers and mountains of deeply discounted inventory zapping their profit margins.
Lots of exclusive US designers have created successful lower priced lines for the mass market - Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade Saturday etc. But taking J. Crew from the local Westfield Mall to couture status is probably going to be tough.
But see, I wouldn't never buy a Michael Kors bag now. (I'm the one from above who said she never looked at JCrew until recently). He's everywhere. Every young woman I see is in skinny jeans, an MK bag and knockoff strappy sandals. I wouldn't buy one of his designs. And for me Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein also long ago over-saturated the market and for me lost any allure.ReplyDelete
Back to MK, it also doesn't help that he puts his logo and initials on everything. I hate that. He may be a fine designer, but I would never buy his handbag now.
JCrew occupies a really neat space. I think what they've accomplished is impressive.
I guess the point I was trying to make what that just that it's easier for a brand to extend its equity with consumers down-market rather than up-market.Delete
Was that. Sorry, hate autotype.Delete
I got the survey sometime last night and just finished it, for whatever that's worth.ReplyDelete
I was pretty honest about how my clothing purchases overall have gone down recently (until there's a bigger change in styles, I don't see a need to keep buying the same stuff over and over).
I also mentioned that I mostly buy sale at J. Crew because so much of my stuff has fallen apart -- I'm just not going to spend $100 on a basic pencil skirt that I have to keep mending every few months (or, you know, the first freaking time I wear it in the case of one of my No.2s).
On the other hand, I did also mention that my denim has really proved to be the exception to that rule -- I have a few pairs of Matchsticks that have held up really well for about three years.
Eh. Now I'm going to go yell at some kids to get off my lawn or something.
I participated and was invited to be in the pool for the longer chat in exchange for a $50 gift card.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure why I stood out but maybe it was something about the mention of them feeling more like they were scared of, and competing with, Gap what with a new "sale" every week...
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
It's bogus to close a survey an hour or two after the invitation reaches someone. Not well designed and wonder if the feedback from quick responders will represent a good cross section that should be part of the objective. Even if closing the door quickly on some were part of the design, do they care the badwill they've created with good customers?ReplyDelete
Hi, I wanted to participate as well, but it had closed only a few hours after I received the e-mail. Not sure they really wanted my opinion if it was only there for a few hours.ReplyDelete
I do love J.Crew, but I think it wasn't a good idea to close out the survey that early--even if they didn't have the staff to sift through all the data. It doesn't give a very nice opinion of them either.
Some of the past Style Guides have been unimpressive, but I still keep them for ideas, and wait for the sale for items I love--if I can hold off that long. Oh, still waiting for the inventory check online for stores and reviews on J.Crew. Someone should mention that AGAIN. :)
Ah, but even with the J.Crew disappointments, I still look out for past loves on eBay and try to buy them at somewhat reasonable prices.
Don't even get me started on their vintage tees. So. darn. soft.
i filled out the survey and was asked to participate in the phone call that could be 60-90 minutes! I declined...who's got time for thaat!ReplyDelete