My mom sent me the link to an interesting article awhile ago from the New York Post: J. Crew is floundering – and Jenna Lyons is to blame. I thought this was a very interesting piece about a general problem that consumers frequently face: quality vs quantity. As in, buying one great, long-wearing piece or a bunch of various pieces that might not wear as well but would work for a little bit.
Obviously, my first thought was Forever21 vs. J. Crew. Forever21 arguably exists solely as a quantity store – people go in, and for the price of one $75 blouse at J. Crew can buy 5 to 7 (maybe even more) shirts. These aforementioned shirts may only last for a few months, but they give the consumer options in their own personal wardrobe while they last. In addition, they provide the consumer with an opportunity to test trends they might not otherwise have wanted to try.
This has been a problem in the consumer world since the birth of retail as we know it today – as in, this dilemma really is nothing new or groundbreaking. But perhaps J. Crew should look to increase the number of sales they have to make their pieces more accessible but still maintain their place in the overall “brand hierarchy” that persists in today’s society.
I also think that for J. Crew’s “standing” in this overall dog-eat-dog retail world, they are pushing too high price points given that they are a mediocre, despite on the higher end, chain store reoccurring in many malls across the country. I do not mean to bash J. Crew in the slightest – it is one of my favorite stores – but perhaps they are failing because they are in accessible locations without accessible prices. I personally tend to only shop J. Crew on sale. Yes, they do have sales frequently, but I’m talking about the $200 dresses placed prominently in the front of the store. Are they gorgeous? Of course. Are the affordable for the every-day mall shopper? Definitely not.
I don’t think I’m the only one in the blogging world who frequents the sale section there. I am always looking for a good deal. I love clothing, but I don’t necessarily think all of it is worth the original price. In the blogging world, we all get so caught up in having the latest stuff that we don’t necessarily realize that those who we idolize might’ve gotten the latest for free, solely because of their readership and stats.
This is just something I’ve been thinking about for awhile, and I don’t mean to single out J. Crew as the only culprit – there are many other brands that follow suit.
What do you think?