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TECHNOLOGY

J. Crew cutting jobs as part of restructuring

BY Marianne Wilson

J.Crew Group is in a reorganization mode as it look to better position itself for growth.

The apparel retailer announced several strategic changes across its organization, including reducing headcount. Approximately 150 full-time and 100 open positions are being cut, mostly from corporate headquarters.

“We take these difficult decisions very seriously, but believe they are absolutely necessary,” said J.Crew Chairman and CEO Millard Drexler. “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.”

The company expects to realize approximately $30 million of annualized pre-tax savings in connection with the downsizing. It will record a charge of approximately $10 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2017 for severance payments and other termination costs.

The reorganization also includes some executive moves. These include:

• Michael J. Nicholson, president, COO and CFO of J.Crew Group, will additionally assume responsibility for the J.Crew brand which includes the planning and allocation, merchandising, marketing and design functions.

• Lisa Greenwald has been named chief merchandising officer of the J.Crew brand. She will oversee merchandising across J.Crew women's, men's, and crewcuts. Most recently, Greenwald served as senior VP of merchandising for the company’s Madewell division.

• Libby Wadle has been named president of the Madewell Brand. Most recently, she served as president of the J.Crew Brand.

As previously announced, Somsack Sikhounmuong has been named chief design officer, effective April 5, 2017. In the role, he oversees the women's, men's and crewcuts' design teams.

The reorganization comes less than a month after J. Crew announced that longtime creative director Jenna Lyons will step down from the company at the end of 2017. http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/key-executive-out-j-crew

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As of April 25, 2017, J. Crew operates 278 J.Crew retail stores, 115 Madewell stores, jcrew.com, jcrewfactory.com, the J.Crew catalog, madewell.com, the Madewell catalog, and 179 factory stores (including 39 J.Crew Mercantile stores).

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