J. Crew & Nordstrom Enter Into Symbiotic Clothes-Selling Relationship

Image courtesy of (Josh Bassett)

When you’re a clothing line that also has a retail store, you tend to keep your apparel to your own stores. But when you’re a clothing line that could use some new blood, you might make a deal with a retailer that is also in need of an image boost. 

Bloomberg reports that mall staple J. Crew has made a deal with Nordstrom to launch a collection of women’s clothing at 16 Nordstrom locations and online starting Sept. 12.

J. Crew, which already sells its Madewell brand at 76 Nordstrom locations, plans to use the expansion as a way to win back customers and reverse seven quarters of declining same-store sales.

The expanded agreement between the two retailers highlights what they have in common, and how they can help each other.

“We both share the same high standards of customer service and store experience,” J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler said in a statement. “We are known for exceptional design, quality and style, which we know will appeal to the Nordstrom customer.”

For Nordstrom, J. Crew will offer an additional brand that some younger shoppers might find more affordable than others sold at the upscale retailer, analysts tell Bloomberg.

The department store chain began experiencing the same sales slumps its mid-range counterparts have been battling for years.

In July, the chain reported that customer shopping habits were in flux late last year when sales rose by just 1%. For the first quarter of 2016, the company’s same-store sales actually fell 1.7%.

At the time the chain said it was looking for ways to attract more customers to physical stores.

The J. Crew line will join other popular, limited distribution brands like Beyonce’s Ivy Park active wear, and British brand Topshop.

J. Crew Will Sell Through Nordstrom as Brand Seeks a Revival [Bloomberg]