J. Crew brings back swimsuit by customer request
Okay, so this is not your typical customer service story. Many, perhaps even most, consumers know the frustration of really liking a particular product only to find it’s been discontinued. They may register their disappointment with store staff, but the net result is the product is gone forever.
Something of a kind happened to Jenni Avin, a freelance writer, who went public on New York Magazine’s The Cut blog with a plea to J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons to bring back the company’s scoop-back tank swimsuit. The result in this case was different, however, and it was pure public relations genius.
First, Ms. Lyons read the blog and told Ms. Avin she would look into a matter. This week, J.Crew gave its answer in a two-page ad in New York Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. It pictured a handwritten note from Ms. Lyons: "Dear Ms. Avins," she wrote, "your wish is my command … within reason. XO Jenna."
Prediction: The item that Ms. Avins describes as "simple, sexy, and sporty suit with straight, tank-top-style shoulder straps that swoop like the letter U" will be a winner for J.Crew this summer even if it isn’t its best seller.
- Open Letter: Resurrect J. Crew’s Perfect Scoop-Back Swimsuit – New York Magazine
- J.Crew Resurrected a Swimsuit Because We Begged Them To – New York Magazine
- J. Crew Brings Back a Discontinued Swimsuit Just Because One Superfan Asked Nicely – Adweek
- J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons Makes Fan’s Day in New Print Ad – Advertising Age (tiered sub.)
How responsive, in general, should retailers be to product requests from shoppers? What do you think of J.Crew’s response to Jenni Avin’s blog?