Take advantage of J. Crew while they cannibalize their own business

J. Crew introduced its J. Crew Factory brand that features basically the same New England preppy stuff you can get from their main site, only a lot cheaper. What's their strategy? No clue but we'll take advantage and order from J. Crew Factory as long as they let us.

Can you tell which flannel shirt costs $20 and which one costs $80? Neither can we. (The $20  flannel shirt at J. Crew Factory  is on the left)

Can you tell which flannel shirt costs $20 and which one costs $80? Neither can we. (The $20 flannel shirt at J. Crew Factory is on the left)

Some say the factory clothes are based on last year's fashions, and even if that's true, men's fashion moves at a glacial pace. Do you toss all the shirts you bought last year and replace them with this year's model? Didn't think so.

Might the factory line be lower quality? Perhaps. But knowing how clothing retailers source their stock, I'd bet they roll out of the same factories, crafted by the same hands, somewhere in southeast Asia. I have several factory items and they don't wear out or break down any more than anything else.

For any given item at J. Crew Factory they'll say "valued at $60" while they offer it for $19.95, as if they know it should be priced higher but now they're true New England socialists so whatever. Take a look at the two shirts we show for comparison. While you might like one pattern vs. the other, it's hard to see a lot to justify one shirt at $20 while the other is $80.

The Smart Savvy LifeComment