Are you in the JCrew?

The JCrew phenomenon has completely swept London away, and those friends of Innesco could be forgiven that it has taken us too! We have kept one step ahead of the fashion pack with our choice of new office location on Lamb Conduit Street in December 2012, and then when JCrew announced they were looking for its second location in London after Regent Street, was there really any other location for Menswear? Well, maybe South Kensington with its new Acne store, but we’re still grateful they chose No. 38, next to our front door.

Behind this American brand’s assault on the UK was an innovative marketing plan that demands acknowledgement. Crucially, JCrew won a place at the Mr.Porter and Net a Porter table as long ago as May 2010. This was the firm’s “soft entry” into the European market, as before then it was saved for those who could jump on a plane to the States. Expect to see more of this “soft” launch. But this wasn’t the end.

The addition of the boutique store at #38 Lamb Conduit Street has added further panache and credibility to their launch here in the UK. Yes, they have invested heavily (rumours are that JCrew paid well above the Crown Estate quoting rent for the 17,000 sqft Regent Street store), whilst they were slammed in the Daily Mail for charging UK shoppers up to 3-times the price of the same item in the US. It has been a huge gamble, but it appears to be paying off. In 2012, J. Crew’s 285 retail stores and 99 factory outlets in North America brought in $384 million for a 21% revenue increase, while online and catalogue sales climbed 16% to $134 million. This expansion into Europe is the next step.

J.Crew CEO Millard “Mickey” Drexler and Creative Director and President Jenna Lyons were both in town for the Regent Street launch the week before MAPIC, on November 6th. Leasing has been overseen by James Ebel at Harper Dennis Hobbs. I may only own one JC shirt and have a limited edition Lamb Conduit Street brolly, but I’m happy! Get set for more JCrew deals in the best UK shopping centres over the next 12 months.

Dan Innes, Managing Director

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