US casualwear giant J Crew plans to open five different format stores in London and is scouting out premises for a standalone menswear store in the capital.
According to Drapers’ sister title Retail Week, the fashion retailer is believed to be looking to adopt a unique format for the menswear store, similar to that of its New York experimental Liquor Store location, which has retained the original exterior signage and structure of the former liquor store. It is thought the London equivalent will focus on tailoring.
J Crew, a favourite of First Lady Michelle Obama, is believed to be looking at opening five different formats across London after debuting on Regent Street later this year.
One source said J Crew was looking for five stores to “complement the Regent’s Street store”. In the US, the retailer also operates standalone shops for its kidswear label Crewcuts, denim brand Madewell and J Crew Factory outlets alongside its J Crew stores.
Landlords in the UK have been vying to woo the brand to their centres. Last year it emerged J Crew had signed for its first UK store in the 17,000 sq ft shop formerly occupied by Burberry on Regent Street.
The shop, the brand’s first outside of North America, will have separate entrances for womenswear and menswear, and will also stock Crewcuts, its kidswear range.
Headed by former Gap chief Mickey Drexler since 2003, J Crew has a loyal following in the States.
In its most recent results, sales rose 21% to $642.9m (£416.4m) for the three months to February 2 2013, with store sales up 18% to $416.9m (£270m), and direct sales rising 27% to $217.3m (£140.7m).
J Crew declined to comment.