Dear Jim,

I, like millions of other people, am a longtime J.Crew customer. Over the last few years, I have interacted with the brand in store and online, as a shopper and an observer. While some things are working well, there are significant opportunities to turn around your company in the mind of customers and investors alike.

Here’s one idea.

Build a promising distribution platform for new brands.

Shoppers usually know what to expect from J.Crew. Normally, this is good, but in a world where fast fashion has elevated the trend cycle to a new level, keeping relevant and exciting products in stock is a challenge, especially with months-long production lead times. While J.Crew’s speed to market needs to improve, a position many of your competitors are also in, this will take time. 

However, J.Crew’s assortment could use a jolt sooner rather than later. Luckily, you have something today that many brands out there would die for: distribution.

What if you expanded your In Good Company program not to feature more big brands that are already readily available, but smaller, reputable brands that resonate with younger audiences?

As customer acquisition costs rapidly increase online, many of these digitally-native brands are looking to move offline. But they don’t want to start learning, investing and hiring from scratch. Given all of the eyeballs on your brand and all of your existing real estate, you could be a major asset for smaller brands and they could be a major asset to you, freshening up your assortment and driving younger customers into your stores.

The more you work with these brands, the more you can decipher who is performing, which could inform your own merchandising strategy and even lead to some acquisitions down the road.

This is just one idea among many others that could put J.Crew back on top. Let me know if you’d like to hear more.

Richie Siegel
Founder and CEO
Loose Threads