Is Ann Taylor's "J.Crew" Strategy Paying Off?

Over the last two years, Ann Taylor has made a noticeable effort to bring its apparel and accessories offerings out of the naughts and into the new, uber-fashion-conscious decade. In fact, many industry insiders we've spoken to about AT's reformation have noted: "They're trying be J.Crew." Evidence of this marketing scheme can be found in the retailer's newfound preppy-meets-glam aesthetic. The company also recently inked a deal with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund to host a runway show in Los Angeles this October.
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Over the last two years, Ann Taylor has made a noticeable effort to bring its apparel and accessories offerings out of the naughts and into the new, uber-fashion-conscious decade. In fact, many industry insiders we've spoken to about AT's reformation have noted: "They're trying be J.Crew." Evidence of this marketing scheme can be found in the retailer's newfound preppy-meets-glam aesthetic. The company also recently inked a deal with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund to host a runway show in Los Angeles this October.
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Over the last two years, Ann Taylor has made a noticeable effort to bring its apparel and accessories offerings out of the naughts and into the new, uber-fashion-conscious decade.

In fact, many industry insiders we've spoken to about AT's reformation have noted: "They're trying be J.Crew." Evidence of this marketing scheme can be found in the retailer's newfound preppy-meets-glam aesthetic. The company also recently inked a deal with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund to host a runway show in Los Angeles this October.

Well, whether or not Ann Taylor has taken a page from J.Crew's playbook doesn't really seem to matter today. The New York-based retailer reported a very successful second quarter, with overall sales increasing by 2.8% to $483.5 million (when compared with the same quarter in 2009).

Comparable store sales--or sales in stores that have been open for at least one year--were up 6.1%, compared to a 22.4% decline last year. And e-commerce was up 28.5%.

Overall sales for the first half of 2010 were $959.7 million, up almost 7% from 2009.

While these numbers aren't mind-boggling, they are an improvement. It looks like Ann Taylor's strategy might be working. For now, at least.