J.Crew Will Close These Eight Stores in August

Ella Chochrek

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J.Crew is slated to close at least eight locations in August.

After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May, the retailer stated in a June 12 press release that it planned to reject 67 store leases. The company said it was continuing to have “productive discussions with landlords regarding lease terms that will further inform its real estate optimization strategy.” As of June 12, 2020, the company operated 181 J.Crew stores, 140 Madewell stores and 170 Factory stores.

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This month, J.Crew disclosed plans to reject eight leases effective Aug. 25, at the locations listed below:

  • 1201 Villa Place, Suite 100, Nashville, Tenn. 37212

  • 5667 Bay St., Emeryville, Calif. 94608

  • 929 West North Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60642

  • 1618 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

  • 86 Main St., Southampton, N.Y. 11968

  • 870 Grand Ave., Space #3, St. Paul, Minn. 55116

  • 1915 Calle Barcelona, Space #134, Carlsbad, Calif. 92009

  • 20530 N. Rand Rd., #312, Deer Park, Ill. 60010

On May 4, J.Crew became the first major American retailer to go bankrupt amid the coronavirus pandemic, filing for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

In mid-March, J.Crew temporarily shuttered its fleet of approximately 500 units as government mandates called for the closure of so-called nonessential retailers. The company was also forced to hold off on the planned spinoff of Madewell, from which it had expected to raise about $100 million. While some might point to the pandemic as the cause of the company’s demise, it has been floundering amid disappointing financial results for several years. At the end of the most recent fiscal year, the company had just $27.2 million left in cash — versus a debt load totaling about $1.7 billion. In its fourth-quarter earnings report, the company’s flagship brand posted a sales decrease of 2% to $516.8 million with comps that improved 1%. Madewell outperformed the company as a whole, posting a revenue increase of 13% to $178.1 million, along with a 9% rise in comps.

J.Crew went private in a leveraged buyout in 2010. In around 2015, the apparel and accessories company took on a massive expansion project and attempted to cater to a more upscale audience in response to shifting consumer preferences and spending habits. However, the move was largely unsuccessful. In the years that followed, a new loyalty program, collection launches and the debut of a third-party marketplace were unable to fix such missteps.

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