Not much has changed at J.Crew since we last checked in with the ailing chain retailer — at least not in terms of earnings. In the third quarter of fiscal 2017, the company's total revenue declined 5 percent to $566.7 million and net losses widened to $17.6 million from $7.9 million a year ago. At J.Crew brand, specifically, sales were down 12 percent to $430.4 million; comparable sales decreased 12 percent.
Earlier this year, the company brought on a new CEO, Jim Brett, who has been charged with leading the J.Crew turnaround. During a conference call Tuesday, executives didn't elaborate on previously announced plans like improving omnichannel capabilities, improving merchandising, focusing on digital marketing and exploring wholesale. They did, however announce plans to close more stores than previously announced: instead of 20, it will close 50 stores in fiscal 2017. "In order to drive top-line growth, we must evolve our business model from a traditional brick-and-mortar specialty retailer to a digital-first omnichannel business," said President, COO and CFO Mike Nicholson. "We are committed to driving outsize growth with strong e-commerce capabilities complemented with a more appropriately sized real estate footprint."
Sounds like it's going to be a tough road for J.Crew, but the company's execs do have one thing to be grateful for this Thanksgiving: Madewell. The brand posted its seventh consecutive year of double-digit top-line growth with revenue up 22 percent to $107.5 million. "Our goal is to reinvigorate the J.Crew Brand to reflect the America of today and to continue to drive strong momentum in the Madewell Brand," said Brett in a statement.
I think it's safe to expect J.Crew to be doing some pretty steep discounting this holiday shopping season in hopes of reporting slightly better results at the end of the year (the entire site is already 40 percent off), so at least their loss can be our gain?