J. Crew is the latest retailer to tighten its belt.
The company last week gave pink slips to some 40 people at its corporate office, according to sources.
A J. Crew spokesperson confirmed that there were layoffs but declined to give a number, saying only that it impacted less than 3 percent of the workforce.
In response to the query, the spokesperson said: “We have conducted a comprehensive review of our organization and made decisions to support efficiency and long-term growth. Part of this initiative has been making organizational changes and streamlining functions which has impacted a limited number of roles. We are confident these changes will enable us to further invest in our brands and our people with increased focus on performance, collaboration and productivity.”
Layoffs are becoming commonplace in a variety of industries, particularly tech, financial and telecom. And retail is not immune. Earlier this year, Saks.com, TheBay.com, Kohl’s and Neiman Marcus laid off workers as inflation and heavy discounting take their toll on the bottom line.
As reported, J. Crew is in the midst of a reinvention campaign as it celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Under the direction of chief executive officer Libby Wadle, the company’s parent J. Crew Group, which also operates Madewell and Crewcuts, has been working to regain a foothold after the pandemic and an aborted attempt at an initial public offering of Madewell led to a Chapter 11 filing in April 2020. Once emerging from bankruptcy with nearly all of its $1.7 billion in debt eliminated and Anchorage Capital Group LLC as majority owner, Wadle has been working to mine J. Crew’s heritage but with a modern take.
Among the moves she’s made has been to tap new creative directors: Brendon Babenzien, cofounder of Noah and former design director of Supreme, for menswear and Olympia Gayot for the women’s and kids’ sides.
At the end of last year, Wadle said the company was profitable again and that is believed to still be the case currently.