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#13. Store Wars 2014: J. Crew Factory unseats J. Crew

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    #13. Store Wars 2014: J. Crew Factory unseats J. Crew

    I'm scratching my head over this prediction (from the Dappered front page) for a couple of reasons. One, how is the Factory's vastly inferior line ever going to supplant the real thing by the regular J. Crew retail line. The Factory stuff is a pale imitation at best. Two, that comparison of Factory to J. Crew being like GAP to Banana Republic: Huh? J. Crew Factory is to J. Crew as GAP outlet is to GAP and Banana Republic outlet is to Banana Republic. J. Crew Factory is an outlet store.

    Or am I missing something?

    #2
    Agree, they're in different categories. The Store Wars thing has eBay and Goodwill in different brackets, even though they fill the same purpose. Likewise Outlet stores (like JCF) and discount retailers (like Target) serve a different purpose (that is, stylish but inexpensive) than stores like Banana Republic or J Crew (higher end).

    Also, why not 14 predictions for 2014? I mean really!

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      #3
      Good point on the 14 for '14.

      As for Goodwill and eBay, not sure. Seems to me they are different, with eBay offering a wide assortment in kind and quality and with Goodwill offering a lot of junk (it seems to me).

      But yes, putting J. Crew Factory in with GAP is simply incorrect.

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        #4
        BR, Gap, and Old Navy are all owned by the same company. Similar to how JCF is owned by J Crew. Let's be honest, BR Factory is pretty craptastic. Occasionally you'll find something decent in there but the suits there are a totally different cut and fit than the mainline store and a majority of the items in there are synthetic blends. So I don't blame Joe for using Gap as a junior BR rather than the BR factory store.

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          #5
          It's not an outlet store, it's a different line entirely, you won't see JCrew closeouts in Jcrew factory. I don't know that the parallel between Banana republic and Gap is accurate either. I mean yes It's a similar concept with different brands under the sam parent company serving different Demos, and to compare J Crew and BR seems reasonable, but I don't think Gap and JCF really compare directly. Seems to me that JCF is really very siilar style to J Crew just in less expensive materials, so it's for people who want JCrew at a cheaper price, whereas Gap is a significantly more casual style than BR, aimed at a younger demo, not just a cheaper one.

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            #6
            Outlet stores normally don't carry close-outs or clearance. I have never seen close-outs or clearance items in a Gap or Banana outlet store. It's an outlet store because it is an inferior second line J. Crew store. Like Banana and Gap outlet stores, it uses the retail name but carries an entirely different line of clothing.

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              #7
              I am a huge J Crew fan--J Crew Factory? Not so much. I won't buy anything from there. I bought a shirt once and it ripped after two wears and just felt cheap. I understand the price point is better but for me, personally, it will never topple the J Crew main line.

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                #8
                The only thing I buy at Factory is tee shirts. They're decent, and I only buy them because my wife, for some reason, likes to go to the Factory store occasionally.

                I bought their knockoff of the pink chambray and am sorry I did. While I can't find a lot difference in the fit of the shirts between Factory and regular J. Crew, the thing that makes them cheap looking is the quality of the materials. They also skimp on details that make the regular store items more distinctive--things like how the chambray shirts from the regular store have the cool hidden button holes but the Factory ones don't, or the kind of stitching used, and so on.

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                  #9
                  JCrew prices are expensive for me so the only time I shop there is during sales. JCF is much more reasonable priced which is why I think it will unseat JCrew in store wars. I own plenty of their button up shirts and have not had any issues with them at all. Same goes for jeans and corduroys I've bought from JCF. I'm sure JCrew has better materials and details but is it worth 2-3 times the price? As long as they're using 100% cotton or wool and not synthetics, I'm perfectly content with JCF.

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                    #10
                    I occassionally pay full retail at J. Crew. Some things never go on sale, or if it's something I want badly enough, I'll spring for it. I've learned that sometimes waiting for a sale means missing out on it because my size runs out or something.

                    Otherwise most of my J. Crew purchases are at some kind of sale price.

                    All in all, I figure if I'm going to spend any money on clothes, I'd rather spend a little more. If that means buying fewer items or maybe nothing at all for a while, I'd rather do that than spend anything for outlet items. But then again, I am a J. Crew snob.

                    I had it really good while I was living in Asheville. Not only was there a great regular retail shop in town but there was also a CLEARANCE store just outside of town. Not a factory store but an honest-to-god clearance store. It was a mix of factory and regular retail items hugely marked down, along with occasional "sample" garment. I got really great deals there--my bayswater peacoat was about $40, my fireman's jacket was about $50, a navy Ludlow blazer for around $60, and a lot of other things. If you get down that way, check it out. There are only about 2 or 3 of these stores in the whole country.

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                      #11
                      I hadn't read the article when I commented on this thread. Having read the article now I agree with the line as stated: "And yes, they have to be separate entries. Factory and J. Crew, while under the same corporate umbrella, are like GAP and Banana Republic. Similar, yet very very different."

                      I am unaware of the Gap outlets you speak of. I have a couple of t=items bought at a Gap in an outlet mall, but everything there was Gap clothing, just maybe a season or two out of date. Not a separate label made to a lower price point like JCF is, but if Gap and BR do indeed have such stores, they would obviously have to be treated separately if they were popular enough to even make it to StoreWars.

                      Storewars incidentally is what first brought Dappered.com to my attention a year ago. I very much wanted to see Bonobos win, or at least beat Gap. The reason I cared was because Gap had very recently disappointed me on an epic level with their product quality and customer service, and Bonobos had impressed me about as much as Gap had disappointed me. In the past year my stance on both has softened. Gap will never be a favorite of mine again, and I will always be suspicious of their quality, but I'm no longer in full boycott mode. As for Bonobos, their quality and customer service are still excellent, but neither is quite what it was a year ago. They've introduced more blended fabrics to their line and are doing less U.S, manufacturing, without lowering prices any, and while their customer service is still excellent, I've seen a bit of a slide from the stellar levels of a year ago. It's not that there is anything truly bad about Bonobos, but if they were where they were a year ago today, I'd be rooting for them as champions of store wars this year, but instead I'm looking ofrward to seeing what brands other Dappered readers like. As Storewars last year brought not only a list of new brands to my attention, but this forum as well.

                      My prediction for 2014 is that this year I will buy my first new suit (all my suits are second hand) probably from Suit Supply, or one of the other brands brought to my attention by last years store wars. Regardless of where I get it from though, I have Storewars and Dappered.com to thank for being instrumental in raising both my style awareness, and shopping savvy in 2013.

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                        #12
                        Gap and Banana outlet stores are different from the retail stores. They do not carry the same stuff that the retail stores carry. They carry Gap outlet and Banana outlet items, i.e., items made specifically just for the outlet stores. J. Crew operates the same way for its outlet store, which is J. Crew Factory, that is, J. Crew makes things specifically to be sold only in the Factory store.

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                          #13
                          JCrew Factory has become what Lands End Canvas used to be.

                          Very well-fitted clothes that can be had, at times, for a song.

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                            #14
                            Okay, well, I can't argue about fit with tee shirts and shirts. Can't say sweater fit impresses, though.

                            The thing for me is, even if fit is good, aren't material and details considerations, too?

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by Duvel View Post
                              The thing for me is, even if fit is good, aren't material and details considerations, too?
                              For me, it's fit and material. The fit in the items I've tried are the same between the 2 of them. As far as material, as long as it's not synthetic I'm fine with it. The JC stuff might be a bit softer or higher quality wool or whatever but not enough to justify the price difference to me.

                              How many 'details' are there really in a shirt? I have shirts from JC and JCF and don't notice a difference in the details between the 2 of them. Maybe it's small stuff that's lost on me, but if it is lost on me, I'm obviously not going to pay extra for something that I don't notice anyways.

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