Friday, 15 February, 2019

J.Crew names James Brett as CEO, Drexler to continue as chairman

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Sherri Watson | 06 June, 2017, 04:16

On Monday, privately held J. Crew confirmed that 72-year-old Drexler will step down in a decision that he said was his own. Drexler, who is known as Mickey, will remain chairman and an owner of J. Crew.

Drexler continued, "Jim has a proven track record of pushing for innovation and growing omni-channel brands".

CEO Millard "Mickey" Drexler announced Monday he will step down from his role after almost 15 years leading the retail company.

Drexler first joined J. Crew in 2003 after he was abruptly fired from rival Gap (gps) a year earlier. "I am excited about where the team is and the strategic plans we have". One thing's for certain: Its time slot on the New York Fashion Week calendar just got a whole lot more intriguing. In April, J.Crew parted ways with the creative director, who, more than anyone, was responsible for creating the look that defined the brand for over a decade.

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J.Crew has about 460 store locations and has heavily relied on higher-priced items with an elitist flair, something a new era of consumers enthralled with the social media culture and cheap, disposable garments, are not as interested in. I have been here for 14 years. James Brett, the president of home decor chain West Elm, will take over as chief executive of J. Crew in July.

Mr. Brett most recently served as President of West Elm, a member of the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio, since 2010, where he oversaw all aspects of the brand.

Fitch Ratings said in a recent research note that J. Crew's persistent same-store sales declines can be attributed to "fashion misses combined with elevated price points", and the firm expects sales to continue to fall 3% to 5% annually over the next two years. Online retailers have also begun to eat away at brick-and-mortar chains like J.Crew. He told The Wall Street Journal last month he underestimated how quickly technology would affect retail and misjudged pricing.

The move is the most dramatic attempt yet to revive the fortunes of a storied retail brand that has seen sales swoon.