J Crew boss Mickey Drexler has flown over from the US to meet UK landlords as part of his search for store locations in London. What kind of a retailer is J Crew, and where does it fit into the UK retail landscape?
J Crew is a mid-priced fashion retailer, pitched in the space between the high street and high end and producing ‘basics with a twist’. A favourite of the US first lady Michelle Obama, it is aimed at women aged between 25 and 35.
Boss Mickey Drexler is one of the retail world’s biggest names, having previously headed Gap and Ann Taylor. Drexler is still on the board of Apple and is credited with driving success at J Crew. The retail magnate was recently reported to have bought a $13.5m Tribeca loft apartment in New York.
The company was bought in 2010 for $3bn (£1.9bn) by a group of investors including private equity firms TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners.
Revenues reached $503.5m in the first quarter of 2012, rising 23% in the three months to April 28th. Operating income increased 45% in the same period to $75.5m.
Revenues in 2011 reached $2bn.
It ships to 106 countries from its ecommerce site and has already taken steps to roll out stores in Asia. The retailer plans to launch its first overseas presence in the autumn in department stores Hong Kong and Beijing.
J Crew started life as a mail order retailer in 1983. It opened its first stores in 1989.