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As Sales Slip, J.Crew Vows to Bring Back ‘Iconic Classics’

Photo: Getty Images

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It's another bad quarter for J.Crew, the Wall Street Journal reports, as store traffic, sales, and profitability continue to slip. The retailer announced today that it expects to continue to face weak women’s apparel and accessories sales, and will write down the carrying value of its J.Crew brand by $341 million.

J.Crew has been plagued by complaints about quality, sizing, weird styling, and lackluster options, which especially stings since these complaints are coming from diehard fans of the brand. On a conference call today with investors, chief executive officer of J. Crew Group Inc. Mickey Drexler stressed that J.Crew's "iconic classics" are coming back in full strength. The tees, cardigans, and knits that J.Crew customers expect to find need to be in the store day in and day out, he noted.

"The love our customers have for us is extraordinary. I think we clearly got sloppy when you miss the fundamentals that you need to have," Drexler said. J.Crew's sloppiness may have come about because Drexler's been devoting his time to Madewell, which Drexler reportedly wants to turn into "the Levi's of its generation," instead of keeping his laser-like focus on J.Crew. Madewell sales jumped 33% to $61.9 million, according to WSJ. J.Crew brand sales fell 5.2% to $508.7 million, and sales excluding newly opened stores fell 10%.