Blog: Leonie BarrieFirst-class float

Leonie Barrie | 29 June 2006

What’s in a name? Well, everything, if the IPO of preppy retailer J Crew is anything to go by. On its first day’s trading yesterday, share price jumped by 28%, helped by demand outstripping supply. Fuelling investor confidence is the fact that the retailer has transformed itself from a struggling apparel chain to a fashion powerhouse under the guidance of chief executive Mickey Drexler, who himself is an estimated $115m richer following the float (well, on paper at least). The downside, of course, is that the company is now at the mercy of shareholders, and will be under constant pressure to keep coming up with fashion hits. But Drexler’s turnaround of J Crew is a positive sign that he’s more than up to the challenge: in fiscal 2005, J Crew posted a profit of US$3.8m reversing a loss of $100.3m in the prior-year period. It’ll be an exciting story to watch.

J Crew shares surge


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