a leaner j. crew is showing signs of a turnaround
Like Clover, pear and parrot-that the J.
The crew team joined the clothing palette.
It may be late.
Night phone call from Chief Executive Millard.
Drexler, to make painful customers-
Just like the woman who hasn\'t received the bridesmaid wedding dress yet.
Or maybe he spoke to the store manager\'s pep on Monday.
Whatever it is, it seems to be working. J.
Crew is expected to announce this morning that it has reduced operating losses, increased sales in stores that have opened for more than a year, and increased profit margins ---
At the same time, a substantial reduction in excess inventory.
Although many garment merchants have made great achievements this spring, J.
Crew is the first sign that the company may return from nearby
Death experience of the past decadeAnd for Mr.
Drexler gained the reputation of a retail guru two years ago before he left Gap unceremoniously, and the new figures represent at least the beginning of the defense because he was in J.
Crew: overhaul design, cut inventory and raise prices.
\"We don\'t think the turnaround is complete . \"
Drexler said in an interview.
\"It\'s still a work in progress and, frankly, it will always be a work in progress.
Nevertheless, he said, \"We have greatly improved the quality in the past year;
We have attacked everything: style, craft and health.
\"Advertising in the first quarter of this year, as of May 1, J.
Crew members will announce that they will reduce their operating losses to $2 million from $10 million in the first quarter of last year.
Retail sales rose from $0. 104 billion to $98 million.
Comparable despite reduced inventory-
Store sales rose 4% from 2003. AdvertisementJ.
Crew is a majority stake in the investment Group Texas Pacific Group, which also raised its gross profit margin from 42% in 2003 to 36%, mainly because
Drexler removed the chain from the clearance sales it relied on.
However, there are still some major problems to be solved.
Despite the increase in store sales, J.
Thanks to the decline in directory and Internet operations, the combined revenue of crew members fell by 10% in the first quarter. And, Mr.
Drexler admits some of J\'s wealth has improved.
The crew is the result of a general retail recovery.
In May, Chico\'s FAS are reported to be particularly strong among highly competitive professional retailers.
Stores open for at least a year have increased by 9%, followed by 11-year-old American Eagle apparel maker. 4 percent;
9-year-old Ann Taylor9 percent;
Dialogue robot with 8 points1 percent.
Talbots shares rose nearly 10% yesterday due to strong sales.
The good news widened to this gap.
Drexler\'s former employer, under the leadership of the new Chief Executive Officer, Paul S.
Presler hired new designers and slowed the expansion of chain stores.
In the first quarter, the company--
Including Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy stores-
Reported the highest earnings for the first quarter: up 54% from the same period last year.
Sales at the Gap store, which opened in the US for more than a year, rose 11%.
Sales at Banana Republic stores rose 8% and sales at Old Navy stores rose 4%. When Mr.
Drexler left his company for 19 years. -
Falling for months in a row-
His enemy said he had lost contact.
His first year in J.
Crew, the situation looks grim.
The number continues to decline;
Sales fell by 13 this year, according to the company.
9% in the fourth quarter of last year;
Catalog sales fell by 49. 7 percent.
His critics laughed.
Drexler, a colorful figure, with the same colorful fourletter words. Mr.
Drexler threw away most of the clothes--
Not on cheap shelves but for sale nearby
Prices for Internet and factory stores.
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This has made the company\'s 155 stores cleaner than in previous years, with inventory down 38% this year. In fact, Mr.
Drexler said yesterday that they were left a little too clean--
The new management team did not order enough new design clothes and lost sales.
\"We have adopted a conservative inventory strategy, which affects sales,\" he said \".
\"Waiting lists are available for bridesmaid dresses, Manhattan casual shoes and Navy men\'s suits and coats.
The Madras jacket in the catalogue is sold out. \'\'Both Mr.
Drexler and President Jeffrey Pfeifle now think it might be a good thing to run out of some items.
\"We are re-making some items, but those that have been sold out are fashionable and we have not changed the fashion stuff . \"Drexler said.
\"Our idea is to constantly introduce new and novel products.
\"Refers to very well-known novel prints, such as the best --
Sir, selling paisley skirts, jackets and dresses in the spring catalog
\"We know our customers don\'t want to see them come and go,\" said Pfeifle.
So that Paisley will not come back. J.
The crew also held a fit clinic at the Fifth Avenue store, inviting some old customers (
Try on pants from the current and future seasons and measure their reactions. J.
Like the Brooks Brothers and some other professional merchants looking for a transfer, the crew have begun to emphasize the details: such as the hand
Stitching and piping.
The company\'s new classic pique polo shirt now offers an inner tie made of repp Silk, a heavy striped silk found in a prepaid tie.
The company now sells the shirts for $48 for two.
Since he took over
Drexler admits he has raised a lot of prices. -
Thereby increasing profit margins--
But he believes that improving quality is more than compensation.
For example, a popular blue suit jacket costs $298.
Pfeifle says it\'s priced at more than $400 compared to its competitor\'s trailblazer.
Another best seller last year, a Hong Kong camel coat made of Italian materials, sold for $495-
Much higher than the coats sold by J.
Crew members from previous years
Another step to the turn is to improve the service.
Drexler added that he tried to get from the \"Company-
Love the better things, not only in the store, but also in the telephone ordering Center in Fort Va linchburg.
\"Essentially, I am a shop owner,\" he said . \".
The owner chatted with the anxious bride on Wednesday night. to-
Someone wrote to ask him about the two sets of bridesmaid dresses she ordered for the June 21 wedding.
She said she didn\'t want to be called \"bridezilla \"---
But where the hell are these clothes?
The advertisement we feed
He said: \"It will be implemented today . \"
Drexler said yesterday afternoon.
\"We messed up a bit, but now we want her to be happy.
\"We are constantly improving the quality of text archives.
Please send feedback, error reports, and suggestions to archid_feedback @ nytimes. com.
A version of this article appears on page C00001, national edition, June 4, 2004, with the title: a more streamlined J.
The crew showed signs of improvement.