J. Crew to Launch Discount Website

J. Crew Group plans to launch a new Website by the end of the year. The site, Jcrewfactory.com, is aimed at shoppers seeking marked-down merchandise, the company said in its most recent S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The move is an attempt to capitalize on a growing e-commerce business and a significant percentage of bargain-hungry customers. In fiscal 2004, Jcrew.com logged more than 48 million visits — 20% over 2003 — and accounted for 61% of J. Crew’s direct business.

“Since approximately two-thirds of our Internet channel customers who have made a purchase in the past 12 months have purchased marked-down merchandise, we believe that offering the products currently sold in our J. Crew factory channel online will target customers seeking lower-prices items while increasing the breadth of our sales channels,” the company said.

J. Crew also said that as of June, its customer database contained about 20 million names, of which 2.1 million had made a purchase within the past year. The company has 2.6 million e-mail addresses of people who have agreed to receive promotions via electronic mail.

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