J Crew, which recently parted company with chief creative force Jenna Lyons, has announced a new slimmed down management structure and a proposed headcount reduction.
The US business has today announced that it will eliminate 150 full time positions, primarily from its corporate headquarters, and close a further 100 open posts in a move it says will save $30m annually. However it will record a charge of approximately $10m in the first quarter of fiscal 2017 for severance payments and other termination costs.
Chairman and CEO Millard “Mickey” Drexler said the decision was a difficult one but a necessary one: “We are streamlining our teams as we evolve our business and processes to cater to the new demands of the retail industry. While challenging, we know what needs to be done and this is a critical step to position J Crew for the future. We are committed to treating impacted associates with respect and support through this period of change.”
At board level Michael J Nicholson, President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of J Crew Group, Inc. will additionally assume responsibility for the J Crew Brand, while Lisa Greenwald has been named Chief Merchandising Officer of the J Crew Brand. Greenwald was previously Senior Vice President of Merchandising for J Crew’s Madewell brand.
As recently reported Somsack Sikhounmuong has been appointed as Chief Design Officer, effective 5 April and essentially replacing Jenna Lyons. In this role, Sikhounmuong, who was previously at Madewell, oversees the women’s, men’s and crewcuts’ design teams. He will report to Nicholson.
Finally Libby Wadle has been named President of the Madewell Brand. Most recently,Wadle served as President of the J Crew Brand and joined the Company in 2004.
“We have an incredibly talented team of passionate leaders and will further leverage their strengths and talents as we continue to focus on making critical improvements in our business,” said Drexler of the changes.
J Crew revealed last month that Jenna Lyons, the J Crew president and creative director, was leaving the business after 26 years. She was the face to the brand, though some believe her high profile was part of the reason for her departure, and will remain with the business for the rest of the year as a creative consultant.