The first store of a new initiative, J.Crew Mercantile, will open in late July, at The Shops at Park Lane in Dallas.J.Crew Mercantile stores will feature a collection of value-driven merchandise with classic J.Crew style for women, men and children. Once only available in J.Crew Factory stores, the collection is designed exclusively for J.Crew Factory and now J.Crew Mercantile. The retailer plans to open more Mercantile stores in retail centers and shopping malls.
The Mercantile collection was available earlier in J. Crew Factory stores, but it will now will also be in the Mercantile stores.
Rumors about J. Crew Mercantile has been building for some time. The company filed an application in November 2014 to trademark the phrase for selling clothing and accessories, both online and in retail locations. The Wall Street Journal reported in May 2014 that J. Crew planned to use the name to create a chain aimed at budget-minded shoppers.
Chief Executive Officer Mickey Drexler is struggling to kick-start growth in the company’s namesake brand, which saw first-quarter sales fall 5 percent amid fashion missteps. The retailer named a new head of women’s design for J. Crew and cut 175 positions, mostly at its corporate headquarters.
Drexler is no stranger to the discount business. As president at Gap Inc. in 1994, he created the Old Navy brand with 40 stores to compete with retailers like Target for lower- income shoppers. More than a decade later, Old Navy has over 1,050 stores and posted U.S. sales last quarter that were almost double those of the Gap brand.