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Using Data to Capture the J. Crew Crew

In this Insight Flash, we use CE Vision to:
  • Evaluate customer overlap with a struggling retailer and whether there’s an opportunity to market those customers or move into empty stores
  • Determine which demographics and geographies to target
  • Evaluate how big the opportunity could be

COVID-19 has exacerbated troubles for many already struggling retailers as stores shutter and online sales can’t make up for the entire loss.  J. Crew was the first large U.S. retailer to file Chapter 11 during the pandemic, and while it is likely to remain in business following a reorganization, competitors may be able to capture some of its market share amid bankruptcy-related store closures and supply chain disruptions.  CE Vision can help both retailers and wholesale brands identify where their market positioning overlaps with J. Crew and which customer characteristics to target.

One way CE Vision users can see how much overlap there is between brands is to look at whether Brand A’s shoppers spend a higher percentage of their wallet at Brand B than the overall panel.  In this case, they can see which brands captured the highest relative wallet share of those who shopped J. Crew in the last year in order to understand which brands have the highest affinity.  J. Crew shoppers were most likely to also shop Club Monaco, spending over 10x as much of their wallet there as the overall population.  They were also very likely to frequent Amazon’s high-end fashion brand Shopbop and European brands Boden, Mango, and Cos.  These brands may have an easier time capturing J. Crew shopper dollars if customers begin to defect since such customers are already highly likely to be shopping there.  Brands with a high wallet share index among J. Crew shoppers could see a higher ROI on any marketing efforts or be better candidates to take over closed stores than brands with a lower index.

Share of Wallet

J. Crew Shopper Wallet Share of Brand Indexed to Overall Population Shopping Brand Chart
Note:  Among those who shopped J. Crew at least once 6/2/2019 – 5/31/2020, what was their wallet share of named brand indexed to overall population’s wallet share of brand over that period.

It is also useful for brands to look at demographic and geographic overlaps with J. Crew to figure out which customer segments and markets to target and to focus their conversion efforts.  Here, we focus on the largest brands with a high wallet share index among J. Crew shoppers – Ann Taylor, Anthropologie, and Banana Republic.  As these brands are all mall retailers, overlap analysis is useful not only to target marketing to lapsed customers, but also when considering potentially taking over J. Crew locations that might be closing as part of bankruptcy proceedings.  In general, both J. Crew and the selected competitors tended to skew higher income.  Anthropologie shoppers are the highest income of the group, followed by J. Crew.  Ann Taylor and Banana Republic skew slightly less high income.  In terms of age, J. Crew and Anthropologie have a very similar skew to 25-34 years olds, though Banana Republic has a very similar age distribution to both of these chains overall.  Ann Taylor skews somewhat older.  Given this analysis, the competitive set could target marketing for J. Crew defectors to highlight the right products and price points, as well as be more specific in direct marketing via social media or mailings. 

Geography is another important characteristic of potential customers, and in this area J. Crew has a much smaller share of its customer base in the West than either Anthropologie or Banana Republic, and a larger share in the Northeast than any of the brands in the competitive set.  This information could help a marketing team geographically target ads.  However, a real estate team could also use this information to consider broadening its store portfolio – given the high degree of shopper overlap, J. Crew locations could be the perfect fit for regional expansions for competitor brands.  CE Vision would allow these teams to dig even deeper into geography down to CBSA or the first three digits of cardholder ZIP code, and see in which geographies J. Crew saw the most similar demographics to their own customers.

Shopper Characteristics

% of Shoppers by Income Chart
% of Shoppers by Age Chart
% of Shoppers by Region Chart

Note:  Among those who shopped each brand at least once 6/2/2019 – 5/31/2020, what % of individuals had specified characteristic; those for whom characteristic is unknown are excluded.

Finally, CE Vision can help companies estimate the opportunity size from another brand’s customers and determine how much outreach might be warranted to try to capture defecting shoppers or closed locations.  In this case, J. Crew represents a significant opportunity for the selected set of competitors.  J. Crew’s most loyal shoppers representing the top 20% of spenders made an average of over 10 purchases at the brand over the last year.  That’s 64% higher than Ann Taylor’s top shoppers, 48% higher than Banana Republic’s top shoppers, and 5% higher than Anthropologie’s top shoppers.  This would indicate that even a small increase in market share from defecting J. Crew loyal shoppers could have a big payoff, and warrant more investment.

Spend Percentiles

# Transactions for top 20% of Spenders Chart
Note:  Among those who shopped each brand 6/2/2019 – 5/31/2020.