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J.Crew quietly sails into the lower-end of the fashion market with Mercantile

By Vivian Hendriksz


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London - Struggling fashion retailer J.Crew is finally making its move into the lower spectrum of the fashion market with the launch of its new division: J.Crew Mercantile. After a turbulent year of declining sales, product quality issues and major staff changes and cutbacks, the American fashion retailer is aiming for new cost-efficient brand to help turn the tides against it.

J.Crew to launch budget friendly division J.Crew Mercantile

The new format has been designed to help the fashion retailer tap into a new demographic of value conscious consumers, without damaging its core brand's image. J.Crew Mercantile will operate in addition to J.Crew's Factory Outlets, although the the new division will be operated by the outlet division. A specific label just for the J.Crew Mercantile store is likely to be developed in the future, but for now the struggling retailer aims to offer the same merchandise in its J.Crew Mercantile stores as it does in its factory outlet, which is specifically manufactured for the factory outlets.

The budget-friendly store will offer updated basics and modern classic pieces that will bear J.Crew's signature preppy aesthetic, including women's, men's and children's wear, but price-wise will sit close to high street retailers such as Zara and COS. J.Crew Mercantile will not offer any discount goods items from the regular J.Crew stores, as the retailers clears excess stock for the brands through its own discount offerings and markdown sales.

J.Crew first registered the trademark for J.Crew Mercantile in November, 2013 to apply for products including apparel, footwear and accessories and is set to open its first J.Crew Mercantile store later this month at the Shops at Park Lane in Dallas, Texas according to WWD. Additional stores will be opened throughed the second half of 2015 and 2016, but the exact number of stores to open has yet to be confirmed. The new division launch comes not long after the retailer announced it was cutting 10 percent of its staff in order to keep costs in line with sales trends.

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