J.Crew gets new CEO; Mickey Drexler still chairman

06 June, 2017, 06:55 | Author: Valerie Burke

"This is an exciting time for J.Crew as we continue to make significant changes to position our company for long-term success", Drexler said in a statement on Monday.

Drexler continued, "Jim has a proven track record of pushing for innovation and growing omni-channel brands". Sales fell 6% in 2016.

The plan has been in the works for about a year, according to WWD, and Drexler will officially step down in mid-July to be replaced by current West Elm president James Brett. "I have been running companies for 37 years and the announcement today is a major change in my life", he told the paper. "There's excitement about J. Crew and [sister brand] Madewell - brands that people love and admire". The move comes as the future of J. Crew seems to be in flux, and just months after Jenna Lyons, the creative yin to Drexler's business minded yang, stepped down as the company's creative director and president.

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J.Crew's sales fell 6% to $2.3 billion past year, according to its most recent annual report.

J. Crew ultimately has found itself in an untenable position in the apparel industry that has hurt the likes of Gap and Ralph Lauren (rl)-a slice of apparel that can't compete with the cheap, fast fashions churned out by the likes of H&M and Zara.

Drexler led Gap as the company rose to become the country's biggest specialty clothing retailer in the 1990s, and then led J.Crew through a similarly rapid rise. I have been here for 14 years. That's problematic when customers are visiting those stores less frequently. Online retailers have also begun to eat away at brick-and-mortar chains like J.Crew. In March, J. Crew, which is backed by private equity firms TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners, reported that revenue fell 2 percent, to $695 million, in its fiscal quarter ending January 28. He said J. Crew had become too elitist and would need to transition to both lower prices and a more accessible image. When the retailer went public in 2006, Drexler was hailed as the "makeover man".

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