J.Crew is reportedly killing its newest brand 16 days after it launched

Neverven

  • J.Crew is reportedly shutting down its new brand Nevereven, just two weeks after it launched. 
  • In an internal memo sent to J.Crew employees on Thursday and leaked to The Wall Street Journal, the company said that it would be closing down Nevereven along with its low-cost Mercantile collection. 
  • Nevereven launched just 16 days ago, on November 13.

J.Crew is reportedly shutting down its new brand Nevereven, just two weeks after it launched. 

In an internal memo sent to J.Crew employees on Thursday and leaked to The Wall Street Journal, the company said that it would be closing down Nevereven along with its low-cost Mercantile collection. 

Nevereven — which quietly launched on Facebook just 16 days ago, on November 13 — is a mix of clothing and accessories with a simple aesthetic that has a similar price point to its sister brand, Madewell. J.Crew defines the brand as „thoroughly modern pieces with thoughtful details.“

According to The Journal, the company said in the memo that its focus is on returning the company to profitable growth and that it would be phasing out some of its sub-brands to create „greater clarity for customers.“

A representative for J.Crew did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment.

The news comes just two weeks after J.Crew’s former CEO Jim Brett stepped down from the company on November 17, after 17 months in the job. 

Brett had been leading the charge in J.Crew’s turnaround efforts after several years of flagging sales. The retailer had been accused of becoming unaffordable and impractical under the leadership of its former CEO, Mickey Drexler, and longtime creative director, Jenna Lyons. To combat this, Brett lowered prices, added plus-sizes, and most recently started selling its low-cost Mercantile collection on Amazon.

His strategy seemed to be paying off, as J.Crew’s same-store sales numbers turned a corner in the company’s second-quarter results after dropping for the last four years. On Thursday, J.Crew reported a 4% increase in same-store sales for the third quarter.

In a statement to the press earlier this month, Brett hinted that clashes with the board may have been the reason behind his departure. 

„The Board and I were unable to bridge our beliefs on how to continue to evolve all aspects of the Company,“ he said.

Read more: 2 executives leading J.Crew’s turnaround have left the business, and analysts say it leaves the store in a worrying position

Sources familiar with the matter told The Journal that Drexler took issue with Brett’s decision to launch the Nevereven brand, start selling clothing on Amazon, and grow the company’s budget line, J.Crew Mercantile.

Drexler, who famously said the company would never sell on Amazon, was reportedly concerned that these moves would cheapen the brand. The tensions came to a head in a recent board meeting, sources said.

Since Brett stepped down, a team of four executives — Chief Operating Officer Michael Nicholson, Chief Experience Officer Adam Brotman, Chief Administrative Officer Lynda Markoe and Madewell president Libby Wadle — have been acting as interim CEO.

Analysts were concerned that without Brett at the helm, the company would slip back into its old ways. 

„The departure of Jim Brett is worrying as it leaves J.Crew leaderless at a time when it desperately needs a focused effort to rebuild sales and reconnect with consumers,“ Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, wrote in a note to clients earlier this month.

SEE ALSO: J.Crew CEO James Brett steps down after just 17 months

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Source: Business insider

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