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.
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: