What Happened to J. Crew? 10 Marketing Lessons
What Happened to J. Crew? 10 Marketing Lessons
J. Crew filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 4th this year, as is discussed in detail over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, capping a period of decline from what was one of America’s premier retailer. So, what happened to them and how did they end up how they did? This is something this article will look to take a close look at, by highlighting 10 marketing lessons we can learn from their story.
Decline in quality
As per the gurus over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, there was a time when J.Crew would design all your outfits, from what you would wear going to work to what you would put on when going out for a drink with friends. However, over time, their designs became more and more eccentric, and less and less attractive. They became more daring and overreached in terms of their designs, and in the end, many felt like they were designing clothes for fashionistas rather than their loyal customers. This is a marketing lesson we can take from them as it shows the importance of quality in attracting your audience as far as your marketing campaigns go.
Issues with quality control
On top of a reduction in the quality and the aesthetics of their products, they also began to have issues with quality-control which also contributed to their decline. You would buy clothes at a J. Crew store and find that they have issues with fit, among other such issues relating to quality-control. This, served to put off customers, reducing their customer base over the years. As far as marketing is concerned, the gurus over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, point out the importance of testing and optimizing your marketing efforts to make sure that everything is working well to avoid putting off your audience.
A decline in mall foot traffic
In an issue that many retail stores have faced, the fact that most people nowadays prefer not to go to the mall contributed to their decline. With many people preferring to research and shop online, rather than heading over to the mall, retail stores such as J. Crew that depend a lot on mall foot traffic have been feeling the pressure, which is something that contributed to their decline.
Growth of online retail
Brick-and-mortar stores such as J. Crew have also been feeling the pressure as a result of the growth of online retail, and in particular pressure from Amazon as discussed over at runrex.com & guttulus.com. More and more consumers prefer shopping online due to convenience as compared to going to a brick-and-mortar store like a J. Crew. This has affected many retail store chains out there, and J. Crew is no exception. A marketing lesson we can take from here is the importance of digital marketing in the current business climate.
A poor in-store shopping experience
Another thing many of their customers complained about is the fact that, while the environment and customer experience were pleasant enough when shopping at a J. Crew, the shopping experience was not that great, with the selection being small and not that impressive. What this means is that people don’t have a reason to go to their stores and shop, and they would much rather shop online, as per the gurus over at runrex.com & guttulus.com. This shows the importance of having the content to attract and keep your audience when it comes to marketing.
A changing consumer
Another reason that has led to their decline is the fact that the consumer has changed, and they didn’t adapt to that change. While consumers of the past would be told what to purchase and what suits them at a given particular time, the modern consumer is better informed and more curious than before, as per discussions over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, and, therefore, trying to dictate to them what they should purchase would only rub them the wrong way. When it comes to marketing, a lesson we can take from here is the importance of making sure you understand your audience and are in touch with their needs of you are to see success from your marketing efforts.
In a world where consumers can research various stores and retailers online looking for bargains, as covered over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, pricing has never been more important. This is yet another area where J. Crew has fallen short in the last couple of years, as not only has the quality of their products declined, most of them are also priced at a range that puts them out of reach of the majority of consumers out there. Pricing should play an important role in the considerations as far as your marketing campaigns go, as it may put potential customers off.
Poor decisions at boardroom level
A company can’t go under without the finger being pointed towards the leadership, and J. Crew is no exception. Part of the reason why the company begun accumulating debt was their poorly executed financial overhaul in 2017, as discussed over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, which was one in a list of decisions at boardroom level that backfired. This shows the importance of good decision making and is yet another marketing lesson we can take from them.
Failure to adapt
Many retail chains that have been swept aside by the changes in the retail sector, particularly the growth in online retail, have gone under as a result of a failure to adapt. This is because, as per discussions over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, some have adapted and have remained relatively successful. J. Crew didn’t adapt well enough, and even when they did by forming Madewell, they continued to pour any funds made into the failing J. Crew side of the business, which undid any good work they had done. The importance of adapting to the times and current trends is an important marketing lesson we can learn from this.
They misunderstood their core audience
The bottom line, as far as their decline goes, is the fact that, at the end of the day, J. Crew just lost touch with their core audience. This led to a situation where, the people who had brought them so much success, reluctantly had to leave as they felt like whatever it is they were looking for, they couldn’t find at J. Crew. This is an important marketing lesson as it shows the importance of being aligned with your audience if you are to be successful.