J. Crew Group Inc. (JCG) plans to let customers buy its outlet-store clothing online starting next month, making it easier to get its low-cost clothes at a time when consumers are counting every penny.
Clothing companies typically place outlet stores in out-of-the-way malls, forcing customers to drive long distances in search of a bargain. Now, J-Crew is hoping that it can tap this demand for bargains without undermining sales at its main stores.
Customers are "deferring, they're waiting, they're comparison-shopping, and people are a little nervous," CEO Millard Drexler said, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Online and outlet sales have both seen strong growth even in a weak economy.
J.Crew's profit almost doubled in the quarter ending July 31, hitting $34.9 million, from $18.6 million a year earlier.