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After posting a dismal earnings report yesterday, J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler sat down with WWD to explain how the company went from a net income of $35.4 million to a reported loss of $607.8 million in the span of one year.
In particular, women's apparel and accessories sales have been hit hard. Drexler reasons that a widespread downturn in apparel sales across the industry was partially to blame, but he's not above accepting that the company's womenswear is doing terrible right now. "We've had a very tough year and I, along with the team, own this," Drexler says. "We saw a significant slowdown in our women's business. We own that even more. In that regard, we need to improve."
In the future, those improvements may include dipping into apparel categories that Drexler previously said the company wouldn't touch, like athleisure. In regard to that specifically, Drexler says: "We are constantly evaluating percentages and the investments we make by category." In other words, it's no longer off limits.
While J.Crew's women's business is suffering, Madewell posted a 32% revenue gain, J.Crew's men's business hasn't declined, and Drexler is confident in the inventory currently in stores as opposed to six months ago. While Drexler maintains that J.Crew is in a difficult position for now, he says that the women's sector has survived low sales in the past and will continue to do so. "I don't like it," Drexler says. "It's never any fun. When it seems worse, it usually gets better. That being said, we all have a job to do. We are going to fight the fight and do a better job."