When you think business casual meets polished, with some of the best jewellery game in town, naturally one brand comes to mind: J. Crew. The retail empire has a massive fan following, with loyalists flocking to stores for work, resort, and formalwear alike. J. Crew hits a demographic sweet spot: not quite designer, but a notch more elevated than its competitive mass retailers.
So when the news broke of 175 corporate layoffs, including head of women’s design Tom Mora, the public was shocked.
But when you look at the numbers, the decision becomes clearer. Over the past year, the company’s sales fell between 5% and 10%, particularly suffering in shoes and knits. J.Crew says that replacing Mora with Madewell designer Somsack Sikhounmuong is a crucial move to get the retailer back on track.
“With Somsack in his new role, we will continue to focus on making critical improvements to our J.Crew women’s assortment including fit, design aesthetic and styling. We know what needs to be done and while many of these initiatives take time, we have a committed team in place to make it happen” says CEO Millard Drexler.