What do First Lady Michelle Obama and CNN Contributor Amy Holmes have in common?

They both wear J.Crew. J.Crew is an American brand that began in 1983 as a mail order catalog. The 1st store opened in 1989 at the South Street Seaport location in NYC. This is the location I shop at often, because it is conveniently located near where I work. J.Crew is one of my favorite places to shop. The clothes are stylish and affordable. As an African American woman it is a challenge to find clothes to fit me in a business appropriate way. I am 5’7″, I own a pair of hips and a big future behind me, which at times makes it difficult to shop for clothes. It is good to see American personalities wearing real-world, easily accessible American clothing brands.


I hope their stock rebounds as a result of all the media attention. J.Crew bought “Michelle Obama” keywords on Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, built a page on the jcrew.com Web site that promoted her outfit, and told call-center representatives how to handle queries about Mrs. Obama’s fashion. Gmail users type an e-mail message containing the word “Obama,” they often see a J. Crew text ad promoting the “Tonight Show” outfit.


Their stock is at an all-time low…mid-day trading was at $10.51 on 11/17/2008 down from their high on 6/19/2007 at a closing price of $56.63 (DOWN -538.82%). The IPO was launched on 6/28/2006 to a closing price of $25.55 (DOWN -243.10%). The IPO was the third-biggest apparel retail IPO ever, the shares rose nearly 28 percent in their trading debut after pricing higher than expected.


On November 20, 2008 UBS analyst Roxanne Meyer said in a client note Monday that New York-based J.Crew has proven not to be immune to the weakening economic environment. The company has “solid” product execution but there have been more promotions during the quarter than planned, Meyer said. “Although we think product is appealing, we believe J.Crew’s heightened exposure to basic ‘classic’ items and to the New York-metro area will weigh on sales,” Meyer wrote. “Promotional levels have been high in the third quarter, which we see as incremental to current guidance.” The promotions have been plentiful as of recently, I guess this is a tactic to sustain momentum in this hear economy.

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