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Cheap Chic

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Wed, 28/03/2012 - 16:24
Ted Marzilli
J. Crew Value scores surpass Gap

Michelle Obama, Mickey Drexler, or both?

J. Crew is near its best value perception levels in the US with women 18+ in four years.

The timing also coincides with First Lady Michelle Obama’s continued and well-publicized wearing of J. Crew clothes, inaugurating a whole “cheap chic” trend. Of course, much of the credit goes to chairman and CEO Mickey Drexler, who has always stood by a “value for the money” mantra, according to a recent profile in the Financial Times.

As a matter of fact, J. Crew has been on a value perception run up with women since the end of 2010 that has once again brought it right into the territory of Drexler’s former employer, the Gap. Both chains have scored well above the casual clothing sector since 2008, which has made a long value comeback of its own.

J. Crew, the Gap, and the casual clothing sector were measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Value score, which asks respondents: "Does it give good value for what you pay?” The casual clothing sector includes chains such as American Eagle, Express, Urban Outfitters and Hollister. This research was filtered for women age 18+.

YouGov BrandIndex measurement scores range from 100 to -100 and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.

Over the past four years, J. Crew’s value perception came close to surpassing the Gap’s value perception with women, most notably in June 2009 and October 2010. However, with the Gap on a slide since last June, J. Crew passed the Gap in value perception last October. J. Crew currently maintains a value score lead of 42 over the Gap’s 39. The casual clothing retailer average is currently at 12, whereas from January 2008 to June 2009, it was in single digital negative numbers.

J.Crew & Competitors Value- Women 18+
J.Crew & Competitors Value- Women 18+
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