Tag Archives: j crew website problems

J. Crew Website Update & A $30,000 ‘Thank You’ Ring for Michelle Obama?

Hello and Happy Tuesday!

It seems our post yesterday on the J. Crew website problems touched a nerve with many readers. The problems were also noted by the mainstream business and technical media. From Crain’s New York in their story:

“This is a terrible time to experience technical difficulties. J. Crew, which underwent a massive redesign of its Web site over the summer, has been suffering glitches ever since.”

There are also multiple reports of similar issues at several big name retailers, including Bloomingdale’s:

Bloomingdale's

Bloomingdale's

Bloomie’s does seem to be up and running just fine today. If considering doing some business in a cyber sort of way, don’t forget their free shipping offer for purchases more than $100. Use promo code SHIPXMAS at checkout.

Crew’s site also appears to be functioning at 100% this morning, providing another fiscally friendly shopping opportunity:

J. Crew

J. Crew

To receive the Extra 30% off sale merchandise, use promotion code EXTRA30 at checkout; this offer ends Wednesday night at midnight. And BTW, this promotional offer was planned all along by J. Crew, it was not created in response to the technical problems, as we wondered aloud yesterday.

TP remains hopeful everyone’s site remains healthy and happy for a robust holiday shopping season!

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We have fun information to share regarding a little trinket Michelle Obama is hypothetically receiving as a “Thank You” gift from the President-elect, at least according to the Daily Mail on the far side of the pond.

article-1090653-02a59aa9000005dc-116_468x301

Courtesy Giovanni Bosco

The ring is to be created by Italian jewelry design house Giovanni Bosco, from the firm’s “Harmony” collection. (The items below are merely examples of the company’s work and do not represent their Harmony Collection.)

Giovanni Bosco

Courtesy Giovanni Bosco

Our struggle with this story is that we simply don’t see the President-elect doing business with a firm that will share this kind of information about personal merchandise in such a public fashion.  The Mail’s story quotes “A spokesman at Giovanni Bosco….” in their story as saying (among other things):

“‘Our American distributor has contacted us and has asked us to provide details on the Harmony ring.

‘It is our top of the range piece and made from rhodium and encrusted with diamonds.”

Courtesy Giovanni Bosco

Courtesy Giovanni Bosco

More quotes attributed to the ‘spokesman’ include:

‘Our agent in the United States was asked by Mr Barack Obama about the ring because he wants it as a thank you gift for his wife Michelle for her support the last two years.”

“We have a select number of clients both in the United States, Europe, Russia and the Middle East and our prices as a result reflect the wealth of our customers.”

The ring is supposedly valued at approximately $30,000 (USD) and it is to be delivered in time for the inauguration in January.

Somehow this is reminiscent of the stories circulating that an outstanding Atlanta designer, Cassandra Bromfield, was selected to design Mrs. Obama’s gown for the Inaugural balls.  Here is our original post on that topic, and then Ms. Bromfield setting things straight in this post.

Of course yours truly could be way off the mark on this one; we shall let you know of any developments.

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For anyone simply unable to last another day without a “Confessions of a Shopaholic” update, Bluefly has posted the movie trailer and more.

Although the film doesn’t open until Feb. 13 next year, the Bluefly microsite has some fun features.

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We see more and more references to the ‘preppy look’ or ‘preppy style’ the Jonas Brothers sport most of the time they appear publicly.

Charles Sykes/AP

PHOTO: Charles Sykes/AP

The three brothers were signing copies of their new book at the Barnes & Noble on Madison Avenue last Friday.  The book, entitled “Burning Up: On Tour with the Jonas Brothers is also available at Amazon.  Actually, it seems to be everywhere; is this one of the “it gifts” for teenage girls this year?

Burning Up On Tour with the Jonas Brothers

Burning Up: On Tour with the Jonas Brothers

And how about “Honor Society,” the band that opens for the Jonas Brothers? The photograph below shows the band performing in Las Vegas Saturday night and they are also looking very preppy in their wardrobe selection.

Ethan Miller/Getty

PHOTO: Ethan Miller/Getty

If ever there were a prep aesthetic for a band it would appear to be these young men. If you have any doubt, take a look at the extra photos they have on their MySpace pages, including these of bassist Andrew Lee:

honorsocietyandrew2bandhonorsocietyandrew1

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For today’s Pretty in Pink we offer Barbie: 50th Anniversary The Ultimate Collection book from the always fabulous Assouline publishing house.

Barnes & Noble is selling the Limited Edition Boxed Set, which has much beyond a standard hardcover book.

The boxed set is also available at Amazon.

Did TP ever share the deep and horrible tale from her youth about Barbie?  No?  Well then, to be brief: we did not have one.

Did. Not. Have. A. Barbie.  (Explains a lot, doesn’t it?)

The truth is, in an effort to instill proper values in her little Princess, TQM advised us prior to the one Christmas when we were positively begging for Barbie that we needed to choose between Barbie and the…

Ummmmm, well… it was actually a choice between Barbie… uhhhhh… er….um…….okay, fine – it was a choice between Barbie and the Beauty Parlor Doll!

The Beauty Parlor Doll. Yep. We opted for the Beauty Parlor Doll. The Beauty Parlor Doll was ‘lifesize’ and made of that dellightful aqua and pink plastic. It was *at least* as tall as TP, how is that for a mental picture?  As we are perilously close to the TMI line, we’ll cease sharing our innermost secrets. It’s just not done.

BTW, the Queen Mother rectified this tragic situation years ago, presenting us with our very own Barbie doll as a birthday gift.

May the rest of your day be splendiferous!

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Filed under Obama Fashion & Politics, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Pretty in Pink

Preppy J. Crew Takes Another 30% Off… if their site is up.

Hello-Hello and happy back-to-reality-day!

Blah.

Double blah-blah. There.  We said it. (This is just so unPrincesslike… could it be the evil twin is out and about today? Oh my!)

We apologize. This is clearly the result of some overindulgence on our part.  A bit too much gnoshing and not enough walking/running. But it is today’s harsh, cold reality here in the corner condo at the Preppy Princess InterGactic HQ.  Harrumph. Well, enough about us. How about you? Is anyone else experiencing a bit of a slump today?

One of our favorite retailers is most definitely experiencing more than a slump; it looks like an all-out crash at the J. Crew website. Here is what TP saw when checking the site throughout the day, and currently as of 5:30pm EST:

J. Crew 12/1/08

J. Crew 12/1/08

This has been the case since this morning, with the exception of one occasion when we saw the welcome screen. But that screen did carry an enticing offer:

  • CELEBRATE AN ADDITIONAL 30% OFF MARKDOWNS.
  • USE PROMO CODE EXTRA30 AT CHECKOUT

The offer is good through December 3rd, applicable only to Sale merchandise. We offer a humble “Thank You” to the fabulous Miss LBR, one of the first to let us know about her unsuccessful efforts to place an order on the site.

This represents something of an apocalyptic event for the retailer.  We were surprised when the additional 30% off promotion popped up in the lower left corner of the screen. While it is likely a planned promotion as the company continues cutting inventory, we did have a momentary thought it could be in response to the online debacle.

We clicked multiple times on the Additional 30% Off link, all to no avail. And then suddenly, we made it to this page:

J. Crew 12.1.08

J. Crew 12.1.08

And that page allowed us to then stumble upon this utterly divine jacket. We thought, oh-my-goodness, how-darling, how-very-Princess, we-simply-must-have-it! Now! We’ll take a chance this will work! We will order the Herringbone école jacket in Mediterranean blue.

J. Crew Herringbone école jacket

J. Crew Herringbone école jacket

We did not order the jacket. The. Site. Stopped. Working.

Again.

It is unlikely consumers or Wall St. pooh-bahs will respond kindly to the latest technical struggles. Keep in mind that J. Crew has already spent more than $1,000,000 on customers who experienced difficulties with their site, including many friends of the Princess (henceforth known as FOPs).  J. Crew CFO James Scully told stock analysts last week about some of those expenses:

“… approximately $1 million in customer accommodations related to the direct system initiatives in the form of free and upgraded shipping and other customer appeasements…”

We don’t know about you, but we would prefer being referred to as “accommodated” rather than being “appeased.” The latter makes us sound like some sort of whiny, perpetually unhappy individual who had to be placated.  What do you think?

Now we are wondering if this is one of the next things we’ll see…

J. Crew July, 2008

J. Crew July, 2008

However, we speculate the Call Center is working at 800-562-0258. Call us crazy, but we can’t imagine the preppy retailer hasn’t fixed this part of the operation.

While frustrated we are superstitious enough to not say anything hyper-negative about J. Crew’s ongoing difficulties. Why? Because we are so incredibly paranoid have a little karma concern and do not want to arouse the wrath of the cybergods. Negatory. Nope. Not us.

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You know how much the Princess loves her preppy dishes: Boatman Geller’s plates…along with the the platters and trays and the preppy plates from Preppy Plates…

prpargyleturquoiseonchocolateprpranchorswithnauticalflags

TP is sends a big “congratulations” to Preppy Plate CEO Molly Hamilton, for this stellar story in Sunday’s Washington Post; it included a cute shot of Molly and her children.

Keith Barraclough

PHOTO: Keith Barraclough

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For today’s Pretty in Pink we offer the following for your perusal:

This is at Target, and only available online. The outrageous Sceptre Komodo 23″ 720p LCD HDTV is $298.

And on that cheerier note, we say adieu; we shall return with a shopping update!

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Filed under preppy

J. Crew Says “I’m Sorry” + Goyard/Lacoste/Visionaire Update

“Soon?” Really….? It seems The Princess requires a new definition of ‘soon,’ preferably in cybertime, if you don’t mind. As in ‘cybersoon.’ How long would that be for an online retailer? We’ve been waiting an awfully long time it seems, and there’s still no sign of a functional website. We are beginning to feel like collecting our toys and stomping off to another playground. But we won’t, as that would be a completely inappropriate display of bad manners, and also because there aren’t loads of others carrying the merchandise they stock.

However, we won’t bash the giant that is J. Crew pitilessly (oh, and aren’t they happy to hear that good news?!), lest we tempt the e-commerce gods and they seek revenge upon the Preppy Princess, and we don’t want that! We just got ourselves up and running! Another reason not to beat up upon the preppy retailer would come under the heading of “Don’t kick them when they’re down.” and they are decidedly down. As in the site is down. Down. Non-functional. But let’s remember, they have apologized. Repeatedly. We received this in our email:

Unfortunately for J. Crew, national business media are beginning to pay attention to the story, and the blogosphere is beginning to light up like candles on a birthday cake at a senior center. The good folks over at Bloomberg news are on top of things; for their story they interviewed a company flack spokesperson:

J.Crew spokeswoman Margot Fooshee said today in an e-mail without elaborating. “In our eyes, any inconvenience to our customers is unacceptable,” she said.

“As a result, we proactively wanted to address them through an e-mail and on our home page, letting them know that they might experience some delays,” Fooshee said, adding that shoppers were notified the company was trying to fix the problems immediately.

The Bloomberg story does go on to point out that through today J Crew stock has dropped 40% in the last year. Ouch.

Another site covering the story is the Consumerist; they have been the recipient of a number of customer complaints. You can see their story here; if the complaints accompanying the post are even half-truths the company has a huge problem to correct. For minute-by-minute updates, there may be no better source than the JCrewAficionada; a fun site worth a visit regardless of your situation with the company.

Of course, it is easy for us to be gracious as we haven’t tried conducting any online business with the company. We don’t want to appear insensitive to the plight of any shoppers eagerly awaiting their merchandise, or attempting to initiate (let alone conclude) a return, not to mention any bridal parties possibly ensnared in the nightmare. (Let’s not even go there?!) For it does appear to be a nightmare encompassing every logistical process connecting the niche retailer with its customers, be it order input and management, inventory and supply chain controls, shipping, returns, accounting, call center and customer service ops, you name it – somewhere today it seems we have read someone’s accusations against J. Crew for failing on one or all of these levels. In the language TP learned in B school, this is a complete meltdown. Another ouch!

This just in – we checked the site and it seems operational. At least the “Be back soon” sign has disappeared from the virtual front door. The most that one sees related to this issue is the following on the bottom of the home page:

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We’re just going to move along to our next story, an update on our post about the $150,000 Goyard Trunk with all fifty issues of Visionaire magazine inside. You may recall that we briefly mentioned the upcoming issue would honor Lacoste because this is their 75th Anniversary year.

Visionaire Lacoste Issue

Visionaire Lacoste Issue

WWD carried an article about the upcoming issue of the magazine which provides some helpful information:

Each issue, which costs $250, will include three polo shirts from the collection (in small, medium and large) and all 12 images from the contributors, contained in a shiny large, white box that looks more like a suitcase.

Editor Cecilia Dean said Lacoste is sponsoring the fall issue and came up with the idea of taking the pages of Visionaire and printing them on its polos. “There is a total of 4,000 issues,” she said. “It will be available at select Lacoste stores around the world, bookstores and museums shops. This has been a work in progress since 2006 and it turned out even better than I imagined it would.”

We find the price for the magazine surprisingly low, considering what other issues have been priced at, even more so when comparing that $250 magazine cost with the approximate expense for three Lacoste polo shirts. If you assign an approximate value of $80 retail and multiply that by three, the result is $240, just about the price for the magazine. The magazine’s proven value as a collectible combined with the presumed allure of three Limited Edition Lacoste shirts would hypothetically increase the value of those pieces far beyond the $250 cover price for this edition of the magazine. Surprising.

You know, it is possible shoppers are becoming jaded by all of the Limited Edition and Anniversary merchandise out there, it just goes on and on for so many different things…hhhhm. Actually, there is quite a bit of the 75th Anniversary Collection on sale, at least online. For example, the Ladies 75th Anniversary Short Sleeve Exploded Croc Piqué Polo is on sale (below left), as is the Men’s Graphic Logo T-shirt (below right).

Here is a good shot of Coco Rocha on one of the Lacoste polo shirts, compliments of Visionaire. The printing process must have been extraordinarily meticulous, as it looks like the shirt has been hand-painted.

Coco Rochas on Lacoste Shirt

Coco Rochas on Lacoste Shirt

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We move on now to good news from one of TP’s favorite places: Chatham. (Massachusetts, on the Cape.) The town is getting closer to banning chain stores and restaurants from the downtown business district. This is something voters would ultimately decide, but the wheels are turning and we are ever-so-pleased to hear that news. No, we haven’t removed the supersized “C” for capitalism from our tee-shirt; you know The Princess is very much pro-business and we remain that way. We just want some of our communities to retain their charm and ability to do business. Oh. Well. Okay then, I guess we are finished now with this topic. (The Princess Consort just came in and removed the Soapbox!)

Chatham Light

Chatham Light

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Filed under Prepalicious, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Updates