Tuesday, May 13, 2014

J.Crew Mercantile: Not What You or J.Crew Thinks

About two weeks ago, we learned about J.Crew's newest venture in Mercantile (refer to the "J.Crew Opens a Cheaper Line: J.Crew Mercantile" post). Well, it turns out there is a bit more (or less, depending on how you see) to the story.

The following is from NY Mag the Cut (click here to read in its entirety):
Mickey Drexler Says Relax About Those J.Crew Mercantile Rumors
By Véronique Hyland
May 7, 2014

J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler dampened our hopes just a little today when he told WWD that his company bought the license to the name J.Crew Mercantile simply because he liked the name — not necessarily because, as previously reported, J.Crew is planning to launch a cheaper line.

“Mercantile is a name we own. There’s not much beyond that. It’s a name that was available and we liked. The way we run the company, we are always thinking creatively, innovating, and managing our assets. We have secured names and trademarks with either loose ideas or intentions, or with our imaginations. Sometimes things come of it, or they don’t," said Drexler, adding that the company has registered several other names over the years, though he declined to specify them.

As for media reports that the company might be using the name to launch a lower-priced offshoot, Drexler said: “It’s kind of been distorted beyond the reality of what it is." Maybe the positive response to these reports ought to change his mind? After all, J.Crew is known for listening to the vox populi.

Over at the Fashionista (click here to read in its entirety), they share the following tidbits:
Mercantile is a name we own. There’s not much beyond that. It’s a name that was available and we liked," Mickey Drexler told WWD.

“It doesn’t require any work to register a name,” Drexler continued. “Most of the time, things don’t come out of it. We are always focusing on our existing businesses.
Hard to say much about J.Crew Mercantile now that it sounds like nothing is confirmed.

However, I am curious if J.Crew came out denying the lower priced concept store amidst some concern over cannibalizing sales. It did seem like the media was excited about the new concept store, even though most JCAs were not.

Personally, I would love to see J.Crew Mercantile be an off shoot of J.Crew rooted in "classic with a twists" offerings that might be not fit the current direction of regular J.Crew. I would love to see quality pieces that take a nod towards past collections with an updated take. In particular, I want to see more beautiful prints. For example, during Summer offer the pineapple or lobster prints on knee length skirts. For Fall, offer an updated version of the Vershuka Dress. For Winter, offer some fabulous silk scarves like the London or Paris ones. While I am at it, they can bring back the Cece Flats and the Fleur Suede Peep Toe heels.

What are your thoughts on this news? Are you excited about the possibility of J.Crew's newest store concept not being a cheaper line? Do you think you will shop there?