There’s a concept in consumer economics known as “pricing power.” It’s the ability of a company to raise prices (usually during difficult times… like when inflation spikes), yet after the price increases they DON’T see attrition in their customer base. People keep coming back and handing over their dollars. Disney has it. Starbucks has it. Apple has it. Chipotle has it. Banana Republic is trying to see if they have it (by quitting almost all codes and promos so far in 2022). They probably don’t, but we’ll see next Thursday.
J. Crew maybe once had it, but in recent times they’ve seen that power go up in smoke. Mostly. Yet a select few items in their catalog still do posses significant pricing power. Their stretch chinos, which are always excluded from codes and promos, come to mind.
- Stretch chino pants in 484 slim, 770 straight, or 1040 athletic – $67.57 ($79.50) almost always excluded.
- Ludlow Slim-fit unstructured suit jacket in Irish cotton-linen – $168.30 ($198) been excluded all year. Trousers are here if you want to make a suit.
- Cashmere cable-knit sweater – $193.80 ($228) seven colors, 100% cashmere almost always excluded.
So what gives? Why now?
J. Crew recently revamped their rewards program. They’re now calling it “Passport.” And they really really really want people to sign up. Because data is power. Power is money. And the answer to almost all of your (and my) questions is: power and the money. Money and the power. Minute after minute, hour after hour. And getting you to sign up means they’ve got just that much more of an “in” with you. They can ping you a bit more about new releases, sales, etc. And they know what you like, what you’re buying, all that jazz.
So yeah. That 15% off. It’s bait. Because you have to be signed up and logged into the new Passport rewards program to use it.
No free lunches. Or in this case, no “free” discounts on chinos J. Crew doesn’t need to discount in order to sell.
Being a “Passport” member gets you free outbound shipping, a $10 reward on your birthday, and other rewards/money-off purchases as you spend with them and accumulate points. Seems pretty similar to other retail rewards programs. Like… y’know… they’re old one. The one that wasn’t called Passport.
Back to the goods. Keeping the picks above to stuff that’s usually excluded. Because Labor Day is just around the corner. And you gotta think they’ll do a significant sale for that. But if past is prologue, their Stretch Chinos will be excluded, as will their (excellent) cotton/linen unconstructed jackets.
I know this has all been very wordy and almost none of you are still reading this, but sometimes we here at Dappered want to pull back the curtain a bit. To explain ourselves, and reiterate why we cover and recommend what we do. That way you know there’s a method to the madness here at your friendly neighborhood affordable men’s style website/blog/popsicle stand. Because a lot of guys would see the title of this post and think “15% off?!? That’s NOTHING at J. Crew.” And usually that’s correct. But this time it’s not, due to the pricing power possessed by a specific few best-selling items in their catalog.
We’re trying. Promise.
Code EXCLUSIVE ends this upcoming Wednesday, August 24th.