March 16, 2020


J.Crew offers the finest in women’s, men’s,
and children’s fashions and accessories,
from swimwear to outerwear and
everything in between.

J. Crew’s 337 U.S. Store Locations

It all started in 1947, when Mitchell Cinader and Saul Charles founded a store called Popular Merchandise, Inc. They sold low-priced women’s clothing through in-home demonstrations. 

Their catalogue sales grew quickly throughout the mid-1980s, with a growth rate of 25-30 percent a year. Over five years, their annual sales grew from $3 million to more than $100 million.

The 1980s were the big “catalogue years” for many of the retail giants, including Popular Merchandise. Their focus was on leisurewear for upper-middle-class customers. The first Popular Club Plan catalog was in January 1983 and continued under that name until 1989.

In 1983, Popular Merchandise, Inc. became known as J.Crew, Inc. The company tried but failed to sell the Popular Club Plan brand. 

In 1989, J.Crew opened its first retail store in 
South Street Seaport in downtown Manhattan.

J.Crew Group was entirely owned by the Cinader family until October 1997  when the investment firm, Texas Pacific Group Inc., purchased a majority stake.

In 2004, J.Crew bought the rights to the brand Madewell, a defunct workwear manufacturer founded in 1937. The brand, which was used from 2006 onward, was targeted at younger women.

J. Crew reported a net income of $1.5 million
in the fourth quarter of 2019.

On January 28, 2020, the J.Crew announced Jan Singer as the company’s new CEO. Singer was previously CEO of Victoria’s Secret, Spanx and was an executive at Nike. 

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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