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J.Crew Has Filed For Bankruptcy During The Coronavirus Lockdowns

It can’t help that no one has gotten into real pants for months.

Posted on May 4, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. ET

Jeenah Moon / Getty Images

J.Crew signage on Fifth Avenue in New York City on May 1.

Before it became acceptable to wear no pants at work (thank you, lockdown), before it became acceptable to wear yoga pants at work, before it became acceptable to wear skinny jeans to work, there were khakis. And gingham dress shirts. And blazers. You could buy all that AND a pearl necklace at J.Crew, the once-iconic one-stop-shop (and catalog) for mainstream preppies. For years, fashion trends and online shopping have been tough on J.Crew.

Now, the coronavirus has left the retailer gasping for air.

J.Crew filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday, meaning it will reorganize to pay off its debts. J.Crew’s lenders have agreed to convert $1.65 billion of the company’s debt into stock. The company also received $400 million in financing. It will continue e-commerce sales and still plans to reopen stores as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The struggling company originally had planned an IPO of its Madewell brand to help it pay down its debt, but canceled those plans after the coronavirus lockdowns shut down stores around the world. As of today, the company operates 181 J.Crew stores, 140 Madewell stores, 170 factory stores, jcrew.com, jcrewfactory.com, and madewell.com.

In what may be an impressive array to only a few, I’ve managed to hold onto almost every JCrew catalog (style guide) since 2013.

Twitter

I wrote about the oh so '90s fashion from Dawson's Creek like bucket hats, khakis, sweaters and that amazing @jcrew catalog shoot with the cast from 1998 for @i_D https://t.co/DQAvOw94uC

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J.Crew is one of the first large retailers to file for bankruptcy during the pandemic, but other companies like Neiman Marcus, JCPenney, and Lord & Taylor are all expected to file for bankruptcy as well.

On Twitter, people expressed nostalgia for J.Crew:

A hundred years ago when I worked on Wall Street, I would walk my twink tuchus to J. Crew at the Seaport to shop during my lunch hour. I wonder: Did people in the 1920's feel nostalgic for the 1890's? If they did, I get it. #JCrew

Twitter

Ahhhhh this is so sad to hear. Had some great memories with @jcrew during the undergrad days https://t.co/QsYj6PQpGc

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Remember when wearing JCrew was an entire personality?

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