Saturday, February 28, 2009

Michelle Obama's help not enough for J. Crew

Just a quick link from my Saturday morning browse. J.Crew is eliminating 95 positions in its New York offices and suspending 401(k) company matching contributions. No merit-based pay increases, either. There's a still a chance that the Obama ladies can have an effect: watch the fall collection for styles like those worn by Sasha and Malia at the inauguration.

I used to love J. Crew, and used to have two identical denim skirts (I hemmed one at knee length and left the other mid-calf). But I dropped them back in the early nineties when they helped close down a local shop that sold catalog returns from various merchants. The offense: not destroying the J.Crew boxes for shoes, thus violating the agreement that all labels be removed from the merchandise. That seemed at the time to be incredibly short-sighted of J. Crew, since the store essentially offered them an outlet for their leftovers (some irregulars, but mostly returns for other reasons) and free publicity. After all, most the people who shopped there recognized the various Land's End, Eddie Bauer and J. Crew items from the catalogs, and getting the occasional item for a great low price only increased the love. This was back in the 90s, so perhaps I need to consider letting go of my grudge.

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