For the past few years, J.Crew has been quietly closing stores across Canada, including a Toronto location that was deemed to be one of the brand’s most profitable. Even more recently, the brand closed its Sherway Gardens location, which saw its final day on June 23 following a massive clearance sale. The two most recent closures follow a string of others, including the shuttering of CF Chinook Centre, CF Fairview, and CF Markville.
As it currently stands, J.Crew has two full-price store locations in the greater Toronto are: Bloor St. West and Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
It also has three factory stores in Ontario, with locations at Toronto Premium Outlets, Vaughan Mills, and the Outlet Collection at Niagara.
Initial excitement of the retailer’s launch in 2011 helped J.Crew gain some momentum, but unfortunately, a past decision still haunts the brand.
With help from TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners, J.Crew was able to take the company private in 2011. However, since the $3 billion leveraged buyout, the retailer has been drowning in debt. In 2018, the Washington Post reported that J.Crew had nearly $2 billion in debt.
With that being said, J.Crew Group reported a rise in revenue for its first quarter this year.
According to a press release, the J.Crew Group saw revenue jump 7%, mostly impart to Madewell, which saw sales rise 15%. J.Crew, however, saw sales fall 4%.
J.Crew sales have tumbled for more than three years, and in addition to the debt, the company’s merchandise suffers from poor design and inconsistent quality, resulting in once-loyal shoppers abandoning the brand. Retail Dive reports that executives at J.Crew will “continue to rationalize its footprint” and plan to close 20 J.Crew and factory stores by the end of 2019.
With only two full-price stores left in the greater Toronto area, it will be interesting to see what’s ahead for the brand.
Featured image: Bargain Moose
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