J Crew on Tuesday said it would cut 150 full-time and 100 open positions primarily from its corporate headquarters and announced a string of strategic changes as it seeks to right the ship.
The private-equity backed retailer known for its preppy styles said it expects $30m in annualised pre-tax savings in connection with the headcount reduction and a charge of about $10m in the first quarter from severance payments and termination costs.
The New York-based company, which is also behind the Madewell brand, named Lisa Greenwald its chief merchandising officer. Michael Nicholoson, who currently serves as chief operating officer and president of the company will also assume responsibility for the J Crew brand. Earlier this month, J Crew parted ways with creative head Jenna Lyons and named Somsack Sikhounmuong its new chief design officer.
The changes come as the company seeks to restructure its debt and rekindle sales growth. The company said total revenues fell 3 per cent last year while like-for-like sales, a key industry metric, slid 7 per cent, following a drop of 8 per cent the previous year.
Indeed clothing retailers have faced increased competition from online rivals and fast-fashion names like H&M and Zara that mimic runway looks for cheap.
“Today’s retail environment is changing more rapidly than ever before. Customers demand greater speed to market, convenience and personalized shopping experiences” Millard Drexler, chief executive, said. “At J.Crew, we are embracing this change and making necessary adjustments to our business and teams to move us forward in a more efficient and dynamic way.”