NEW YORK, United States — J. Crew Group Inc., seeking to win over more cost-conscious shoppers, is introducing a new brand that will sell apparel at lower prices.
The first store for the line, called J. Crew Mercantile, will open in a shopping center in Dallas in late July, the New York-based company said in a statement Friday. The shop features the same products designed for and sold in J. Crew’s outlet locations, said Margot Fooshee, a spokeswoman.
Chief Executive Officer Mickey Drexler is struggling to kickstart growth in the company’s namesake brand, which saw first-quarter sales fall 5 percent amid fashion missteps in the women’s business. The retailer named a new head of women’s design for J. Crew and cut 175 positions, mostly at its corporate headquarters.
Drexler is no stranger to the discount business. As president at Gap Inc. in 1994, he created the Old Navy brand with 40 stores to compete with retailers like Target for lower- income shoppers. More than a decade later, Old Navy has over 1,050 stores and posted U.S. sales last quarter that were almost double those of the Gap brand.
J. Crew plans to open more Mercantile stores in strip centers and some malls, said Fooshee, who added that it’s too soon to tell how many locations the line ultimately will have.
By: Lindsey Rupp; editors: Kevin Orland and Rob Golum.