When Bad Things Happen to Goodwill: The Unwinding of the J.Crew Brand.

Paying Attention: ¬†At one time, J.Crew was the hottest brand going. It had perfect pitch for millennial styles. The right sweaters (cashmere). The right shoes (ballet influenced flats). The right cut to the suits; the perfect fabric for the shirts. And then…they lost the touch. It happens and–warning to brand management pros everywhere–it’s going to happen a lot more frequently in the months and years to come than in the past because we are in an era of “now”..i.e. real time, fast-reaction analyze and stock to suit era. Get with it or it’s over.Perhaps that’s why Ralph Lauren–designer of some of the most conservative clothing in the world–picked an expert in fast-reaction manufacturing to be the new CEO. And perhaps that’s why the folks at J.Crew have had to write down their goodwill–you know, the intangible brand value that means that their shirt is worth more than someone else’s–in a very dramatic way. Here’s the whole story, from Bloomberg.com. If you’re running a retail business, read the article and make notes. It could happen to you (and surely, when you sell, you don’t want to go only for asset value).

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