Thursday, January 11, 2018

[CLOSURE ALERT] J.Crew to Close Five Metro Atlanta Stores This Month

New York City based J. Crew will close five of its Atlanta area stores by the end of January.  The troubled retailer, which announced plans this past November to close at least 39 stores nationwide, will shutter its stores at the Westside Provisions District and The Avenue East Cobb this coming Sunday, January 14.  Stores at Mall of Georgia in Buford, North Point Mall in Alpharetta and The Forum on Peachtree Parkway in Norcross are slated to close Saturday, January 27. 
J.Crew's Westside Provisions District store 
Store associates at the closing stores indicate that they are having no store liquidation sales and that the only sale going on, an extra 50% off clearance, for instance, is the same as is offered currently at all stores.  

The Westside Provisions store opened in late August 2013 while the Ponce City Market store opened in August 2015, making them the two newest stores in the market. 

J. Crew stores at  Avalon in Alpharetta, Lenox Square in Buckhead, Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody and, Ponce City Market in Atlanta will all remain open. 

The J. Crew on West Broughton Street in Savannah which opened in September 2014, is reportedly staying open.  Additionally, outlet stores at The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta in Woodstock, Tanger Outlets: Locust Grove, Tanger Outlets: Commerce, Tanger Outlets: Pooler, North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville, and J. Crew Mercantile - Georgia Heights in Athens, are also expected to stay open.   

Sibling female-only J. Crew concept Madewell will also remain open at its four Atlanta area stores at Avalon, Lenox Square, Perimeter Mall and Ponce City Market.  

The company reportedly operates 575 retail stores, including 281 J.Crew stores, 113 Madewell stores, and 181 J. Crew Factory (including 39 J. Crew Mercantile) outlet locations, as of 2017.  


This past Sunday, ToNeTo Atlanta was first to report that Ralph Lauren is closing its two-level store at Lenox Square in Buckhead.  The store, located in the mall's "Luxury Wing," is , like the J. Crew stores, slated to close January 27.  January is a popular time for retailers to announce store closures as they assess store performance over the crucial fourth quarter.  


It was reported last week that J. Crew may soon leave their longstanding headquarters at 770 Broadway in New York.  Property owner Vornado Realty Trust is in talks to buy out tenants at 770 Broadway to allow for existing tenant Facebook to significantly expand their presence.  J. Crew, which occupies about 300,000 square feet in the 1,000,000 square foot building overlooking Astor Place, hired JLL to find it a new corporate headquarters.  The home of the former Wanamaker’s department store is so much a part of J. Crew’s identity that the company has a line of jeans tagged “770.”   Vornado recently paid roughly $46 million to Kmart – whose department store occupies about 30,000 square feet on the ground floor, mezzanine and lower-level of the building – in what observers see as a buyout of the retailer’s lease. 


Millard "Mickey" Drexler stepped down as CEO of J. Crew last June.  Drexler, formerly CEO of The Gap, was hired as CEO of J. Crew in 2003, and is credited with successfully re-positioning J. Crew into a more upscale, aspirational brand.  Drexler's creative counterpart, Jenna Lyons, who was also instrumental in J.Crew's rise in popularity over the last decade or so, departed the company last April, as did men's designer Frank Muytjens.  It's no secret that retail is in trouble, and among the most impacted companies are teen and young adult apparel retailers such as J. Crew, Abercrombie & Fitch and Aeropostale.  Drexler was succeeded by former West Elm president Jim Brett.


Are you surprised J. Crew is closing so many Atlanta area stores?  What do you think J.Crew can do to survive in the  changing retail environment?  What would you like to see open in the soon-to-close J. Crew stores in metro Atlanta?

Please share your thoughts below.  

6 comments:

Ham said...

This just seems like another example of oversaturation in the retail market. For example, they are closing a store at The Forum in Peachtree Corners, but there are locations at Avalon and Perimeter Mall both are a relatively short drive from The Forum. Yes, the internet is having an impact, but I believe many companies just have way too many retail locations.

As developers open new centers retailers are drawn to the new location and it results in too many stores and ultimately closures. In reality this is nothing new, but one wonders how many empty boxes do we need and might city/county planners do a better job of encouraging redevelopment/reuse of existing facilities.

KER said...

I had read about this on October and I'm not surprised by the locations selected as they are all smaller stores. The West Side store rarely has customers in it the many times I've been there. We happened to have dinner with some friends who live in East Cobb a few weeks ago and I ran into that location and I knew they had to be the list, the store had almost no inventory to speak of.

Anonymous said...

One can buy the same low quality clothing at Walmart or Target for much less. Paper thin fabric, shoddy construction and uninspiring designs are what is wrong with retail. SLEEEVES !!!!!! - put some sleeves on womyn's blouses & tops in addition to the 3 aforementioned problems with the retail apparel industry.

So NO, not surprised J Crew is shuttering stores.

Anonymous said...

"how many empty boxes do we need and might city/county planners do a better job of encouraging redevelopment/reuse of existing facilities."

Unfortunately the trend for practically every retailer is to build new to suit them, as it costs much less than to retrofit an existing building. Government planners will do whatever it takes to make the retailer or business happy and brings them to town.

396 said...

I have a wool cable knit sweater I mail ordered from the J Crew catalog in 1995 or 1996. It still looks great. I had two pairs of flannel J Crew pajama pants from around the same time both lasted at least 10 years and a long sleeve knit top lasted for almost that long. But everything I've bought there since the mid 2000s has been absolute trash. Buttons on a cardigan barely hanging on by a thread after one cold-water wash in a lingerie bag, which doesn't matter much since the whole cardigan shrank, faded and lost its shape after that one wash anyway. T-shirts that start out one size but by the end of the workday day are already stretched out. Jewelry hardly any better than what's at Claire's. Their merchandise is no better than H&M's now. If whoever is running that company can't get it together a lot more of their stores are going to close.

Anonymous said...

I went to the location on the westside before it closed and found a few good deals. Sadly J.Crew isn't transferring employees to new stores.