J.Crew to Sell Mercantile Clothing Line on Amazon
J.Crew Mercantile, a less expensive clothing line from the retailer, now has its own dedicated storefront on Amazon Fashion, both companies announced this week. J.Crew Mercantile was initially offered at the company's factory stores, and then later rolled out to its own stores in 2015. The mix of J.Crew clothing on Amazon is available with free shipping options for all customers.
"J.Crew's mission to engage our customers wherever they want to shop makes Amazon the right partner for J.Crew Mercantile," said Aaron Rose, J.Crew's chief of emerging business, in the joint press release. "Its broad-reaching shopping destination supported by our shared interest in service and convenience will introduce the initial collection of colorful everyday basics and fashion to a new audience."
The move by Amazon builds on its recent efforts to be known as more of a fashion destination. “We're thrilled to partner with J.Crew, an iconic brand our customers love, to offer Mercantile and thereby make it even easier to access great styles and premium selection," said Michelle Rothman, vice president of Amazon Fashion. "We're focused on continually enhancing our assortment and innovating the shopping experience to enable fashion discovery and inspiration on Amazon, and we're excited about the opportunities we see ahead for customers and brands alike."
Total Retail's Take: File this under the “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em Category.” Rather than going head to head with Amazon as a competitor, J.Crew has opted to partner with the online retail giant. The move is somewhat surprising because it marks a shift in strategy by J.Crew, which had previously resisted selling its products through Amazon. In fact, J.Crew's former and longtime CEO, Mickey Drexler, said in the past that the company had no plans to ever sell on Amazon. "No. 1, they own the customer," Drexler said at The New York Times’ DealBook conference last year, adding that Amazon could "take every best-seller and put it into its private label collection," according to The Wall Street Journal. However, the Amazon partnership fits into the strategy of J.Crew's new CEO, Jim Brett, and his push to make the brand more accessible. While many retailers are still hesitant to sell their products on Amazon for fear of loosing control over pricing or marketing, others have decided the benefits outweigh the negatives. Retailers including Chico's FAS, Calvin Klein and Nike all now sell their merchandise on Amazon.