“It is not immediately obvious what Mercantile will offer that shoppers can’t already get at the outlets. The company has not said how many stores the Mercantile chain will grow to.”
What’s in a name? Apparently everything. And same goes for location.
Is there a difference between the goods you’ll find at these new “Mercantile” locations (first one will be in Dallas), and the goods you’d get at a J. Crew Factory Outlet store or on J. Crew Factory’s website? There doesn’t seem to be. Maybe there will be slight changes. Who knows. Maybe J. Crew doesn’t even know yet.
The nuance is certainly… something. And confusing. Yet it’s a way to introduce J. Crew Factory clothes by way of another name that doesn’t evoke “outlet” quality. And they’ll target shoppers in previously untapped locations for the company, all at a time when lower priced goods are surging in popularity.
Left: Unconstructed Twill Sportcoat by J. Crew Factory
Right: Unconstructed Twill Sportcoat by… J. Crew Mercantile? Maybe?
J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler is, after all, the man who launched Old Navy. Which while not identical to GAP Outlet goods in terms of style & quality, they’re pretty darn close. And you don’t have to go to an outlet mall to buy something from Old Navy. Last year, Old Navy made almost as much money as GAP and Banana Republic combined.
J. Crew might want their own Old Navy to help keep the boat afloat. And they have one. Kinda. It’s currently called J. Crew Factory. And while J. Crew Factory and Old Navy certainly don’t look or feel all that similar, opening new locations & re-branding JCF stuff as “Mercantile” might be a way to replicate what Old Navy has done for GAP inc. Get the cheaper line out of the outlets, and into the hands of a customer base who’d consider buying in.
If they could find the stuff.
Meanwhile, J. Crew Factory is running the 40% off + free shipping no min. code FUNTIMES through today (7/13). Free shipping = a good time to get something inexpensive, since saving that $5 flat rate can go a long way when buying, say, just a polo. Suiting is excluded of course.
Many thanks to reader Chi B. for passing along the tip on the opening of the first Mercantile store.