Blog: Leonie BarrieJ Crew CEO soundbites

Leonie Barrie | 28 August 2009

J Crew is something of a rarity among apparel firms these days: a retailer where sales – and profits – are rising.

For most other clothing firms who have managed to achieve growth by cutting costs and inventories, this final piece in the jigsaw continues to elude them. So I thought it would be interesting to list a couple of soundbites from chairman and CEO Millard Drexler, speaking to analysts yesterday after the release of J Crew's second quarter results.

There’s definitely a theme: give customers what they want, not what you think they want. Other retailers take note.

“There is nothing like a good old fashioned recession to make you run a better business.”
“We are relentless day in and day out in pursuing what matters most to our customers. We want to be known for the best selection, assortment, product and merchandise.”

“It is apparent to us that customers in this environment and almost any environment but this environment in particular are looking more and more for unique products they connect with emotionally while also offering a compelling value.”

“Once you are in the markdown business and you try to get back to a regular price business, it takes decades.”

“This is not about a cutting cost quarter. It is about a building a product quarter, and I find it interesting as you look at the business there is just so far you go in shaving costs.”

“It ain’t inventory that drives profit; it’s the right inventory that drives profit. If you aren’t buying the right stock, the right inventory, the right fashion it ain’t getting you sales except at second and third markdowns and on promotions.”


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