British follow Michelle Obama into J Crew


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The Independent Online

J Crew - the American fashion brand that counts First Lady Michelle Obama as a fan – made a £2.7m gross profit from its three UK shops in less than four months this year.

The group, which is listed in the US and has more than 450 shops under its various brands worldwide, opened three shops in London in October and November last year. It reported UK sales for the period to the beginning of February of £4.3m, but it made an operating loss of £3.26m, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

In September it revealed that group second-quarter sales were up 12 per cent to $627m (£397m). The group runs more than 260 J Crew shops globally alongside the Madewell and Crewcuts chains.

The chief executive, Millard “Mickey” Drexler, had previously been reluctant to open stores overseas due to problems he encountered when running Gap. But J Crew launched its website in the UK in 2011, and after successful trading online, he decided selective store openings abroad could work.

Despite its success in Britain, the brand has come under fire for charging more in the UK – sometimes as much as double – than the US.