J.Crew is Developing a New Budget-Friendly Label

After a challenging year of struggling sales, product quality concerns and criticism for its high prices, J.Crew is hoping to turn things around. Looking to target a more cost-conscious customer, the retailer is developing a lower-priced line that can better compete with its competitors in the industry. The new budget-friendly label, J.Crew Mercantile, will have preppy, classic basics, but will be at a cheaper price point, like that of Zara. 

The original styles were once found only at J.Crew Factory locations but will now be available at Mercantile's own brick-and-mortar stores, the first of which will open in Dallas later this month. The new stores will be more easily accessible than Factory stores, which are often located outside of busy city centers. Expanding its discount line could be a wise idea, considering Gap's recent downturn compared to its more affordable sibling, Old Navy, which has been performing well. J.Crew has also alienated its core customer base with gaudy designs. But it wasn't just outrageous designs and ill-fitting sweaters, as women also felt alienated by the decrease in quality. With high prices, people expect equally high quality. 

With its new chain, J. Crew might win back those with smaller fashion budgets this summer, especially us collegiettes who are getting ready to pay for fall tuition.