J.Crew Looks To Expanded Nordstrom Partnership To Stem Sinking Sales

Nordstrom and J.Crew have announced that the latter will start selling some of its flagship label’s women’s apparel and accessories at select department store locations and through Nordstrom’s online shop. The move follows a successful collaboration between the two firms to bring J.Crew’s Madewell brand to Nordstrom’s shelves.

Nordstrom customers have been able to grab Madewell fashions since the collaboration first launched last year. As of today, 76 Nordstrom locations and both carry Madewell products. The new deal expands that collaboration and will bring the J.Crew-labeled apparel and accessories for women to Nordstrom, making it the only place in the U.S, outside of J.Crew’s retail stores (or web portal), to purchase said items.

The move comes as brands like Coach and Ralph Lauren are pulling out of department store sales in an attempt to cut back on the brand-diluting heavy discounting that has become the norm. J.Crew, however, is going a different way, as it is attempting to draw new customers to its lately diminishing base.

J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler said the choice to expand into Nordstrom was “an easy decision.”

“Nordstrom is the perfect partner because we both share the same high standards of customer service and store experience,” he said in a statement. “Additionally, we are known for exceptional design, quality and style, which we know will appeal to the Nordstrom customer.”

J.Crew clearly is in need of a boost, coming out of seven straight quarters of falling same-store sales. For the retailer, partnering with the department store could be a cost-effective way to regain its footing, according to Noel Hebert, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

“Anything [J.Crew] can do to broaden their distribution and reducing their reliance on capital-intensive stores — that’s a good thing for creditors,” Hebert told Bloomberg. “They’ve definitely got to find new ways to continue to grow the business.”


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