Crisis at J. Crew as company fires 10% of its staff and shakes up management

J. crew models
Models present creations from the J. Crew Spring/Summer 2014 collection during New York Fashion Week. Keith Bedford/Reuters

J. Crew is cleaning house and trading in designers.

The retailer just fired 10% of its staff, about 175 employees, and replaced the its top women’s designer, according to CNN.

Most of the layoffs affected workers at the New York headquarters.

Tom Mora, J. Crew’s head of women’s design, is also being replaced by Somsack Sikhounmuong, sister brand Madewell’s design chief.

Madewell is a small division of the J. Crew Group with only 88 stores.

It accounts for 11% of the company’s revenue, and it’s managing to do really well while the J. Crew brand suffers.

The subdiary’s sales rose 33% to around $US60 million last quarter, according to International Business Times.

Sikhounmuong’s input could be incredibly beneficial to the brand.

His designs could help improve womenswear for the company, which many customers feel has become tired and poorly-crafted.

Mickey Drexler, CEO of J. Crew, says the brand is working to fix declining sales.

“We are making meaningful and strategic changes across our organisation to better position us for future growth. While many of these decisions were difficult, they are necessary,” Drexler said.

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