NEW YORK — It’s special delivery, Hamptons style, for J. Crew.

Sure, traffic is often a nightmare during the summer on the chic East End of Long Island, but that isn’t deterring J. Crew from delivering a limited selection of summer goods, door-to-door on weekends, in a restored 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer with wood sideboards.

“We’ve got the back roads down,” said Margot Brunelle, head of marketing for J. Crew. “Traffic hasn’t been a problem yet.”

Crew’s “beach delivery system” has been running smoothly so far, officials say, though it’s more of a promotional vehicle than volume driver. The vintage station wagon can be loaded with at least 25 deliveries in a day, Brunelle said.

“This is something we wanted to do to have fun and expose J. Crew to a market where we don’t have a store,” she said. “We have an appreciation for the demographic. We know there are J. Crew customers out there, so this is a unique way to tap into the market. The lifestyle out there parallels the J. Crew mind-set. It’s about summer vacations, the beach and being active. We’re looking into the possibility of doing this in other resort communities, possibly Aspen.”

J. Crew instructs customers to call in orders between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday or Saturday, to get a free delivery by 6 p.m. the same day and to beat some of the evening tie-ups on Montauk Highway. The service began on the July 4 weekend, and is scheduled to run through the second weekend of August.

Bestsellers so far have been flip-flops, priced at $12.50; madras blazers, $228; pigment-dyed one-pocket girls’ T-shirts, $24.50, and sun-washed polos, $29.50.

Asked if J. Crew plans to open a Hamptons store, Brunelle said, “There are no immediate plans. It’s very hard to get space there, but never say never.”

— David Moin

This story first appeared in the July 16, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.