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J.Crew's Sales Picked Up Last Quarter

After a whole lot of markdowns, J.Crew says it has a better handle on its inventory levels.

While J.Crew's creative team is busy preparing for the brand's Fashion Week presentation on Tuesday, its business execs had some pleasant news to report on Thursday afternoon. Sales picked up for the brand in the second quarter of the year, with revenue increasing 12 percent to $627.2 million — this after a season of markdowns that wound up damaging J.Crew's business. Overall, the first half of the year saw 9 percent revenue growth.

On the company's earnings call, execs said that while inventory is still higher than they would like it to be, the percentage of spring and summer product still in stores is lower than it was at this point last year. So, according to them, inventory composition is "healthy."

As might be expected, direct sales are growing at a faster clip than in-store sales — that would be 14 percent ($173.6 million for the second quarter) and 11 percent ($443.5 million), respectively. Comparable company sales also improved over the course of the first half, up 1 percent for the half following a 4 percent rise in the second quarter.

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