A report citing sources says J. Crew Group is looking at separating its thriving Madewell brand from the parent group. The retailer is supposedly working with Lazard to look at strategic options. A small workwear company born in 1937 and relaunched by J. Crew in 2006, Madewell has been doing better in sales than its sister brand. It became a “cool-girl” label with infrequent sales while J. Crew relied on excessive promotions to move product. Proving this point, Madewell became one of the top 5 active brands in store openings with 20 new stores in 2015, based on data from L2’s Specialty Retail report.
Surprisingly, J.Crew ranks Gifted in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail while Madewell remains Challenged. Madewell’s limited push-to-store tactics and limited email personalization dropped its position in the L2 ranking. Furthermore, it invested little in paid media relative to J. Crew.