Traffic woes hurt J. Crew in Q4


A shift toward online sales is one reason why J. Crew Group Inc. says it lost$30.6 million in the fourth quarter.

The retailer has been dealing with traffic problems at its namesake stores as more of its customers migrate to the J. Crew website, the company says.

The company reported that revenue rose 3% to $705 million in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31. Same-store sales fell 3%, following an increase of 3% in the year-ago period. Overall sales of the J. Crew brand slipped 0.1% to $621 million. Sales excluding newly opened stores fell 5%.

However, sales of its Madewell brand grew 33% to $74 million, with same-store sales surging 14%. J. Crew has recorded a shift toward online sales, as that division continues to perform while shopper counts at brick-and-mortar stores continue to decline.

As of March 18, the company operates 282 J.Crew retail stores, 85 Madewell stores,,, the J.Crew catalog,, the Madewell catalog, and 139 factory stores.