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20 Things You Didn't Know about Madewell

If you like to go shopping for clothing and accessories, you might be interested in shopping at a store called Madewell. This is a store that hasn’t yet become a household name, but it’s definitely getting there. If you want to know more about this dynamic new location, check out the list of 20 things about it below.

1. It’s actually owned by J. Crew

You may not yet be aware of the name Madewell but there is little doubt that you know exactly who J. Crew is. This is a store that has been around for several years now and they have made a distinct reputation for themselves. Madewell is owned by the same group and while there are some things about the two chains that are similar, they are actually more different than they are alike.

2. It’s growing by leaps and bounds

It’s really rather surprising just how fast Madewell has been growing. Most of the time, stores have a hard time finding their footing when they are just getting started. Somehow, this one has seemed to do well from the very beginning. As a matter of fact, they do better and better with each passing quarter, surpassing even their own sales goals in the process.

3. Millions of dollars have been invested to ensure its success

There are many reasons for the success of this store but one of the reasons is the fact that J. Crew has spent a great deal of time and money ensuring that that Madewell will succeed. Some might even say that they have spent too much effort on this project, as J. Crew’s sales have been steadily declining while those at Madewell have been doing far better than anyone could have even hoped.

4. It’s a favorite of J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler

If you’re wondering why a store that is dealing with declining sales would be pushing another store so hard, it’s because the CEO of J. Crew, Mickey Drexler, has fallen in love with the project. In fact, he has made the success of Madewell something of a personal triumph, even when he has to do so at the expense of his own chain, J. Crew.

5. They are marketing to young people who are fashion forward

Another reason the chain has been so successful thus far is that they have a habit of marketing to people who are interested in purchasing the types of products they sell. They are aiming most of their marketing campaigns at young individuals who are going to college, but there are some variances there. For example, some of their customers are not yet old enough to attend college and some others have recently completed their studies. Whatever the case might be, the store is catering to a younger demographic that wants to wear sophisticated clothing that also allows them to look relaxed.

6. The company wants to make a name for itself apart from J. Crew

The company sells clothing that is distinctly different from anything you can find at J. Crew. There is a simple reason for this. They want to set themselves apart from the other chain in every way possible. The last thing Madewell wants is to be considered some type of spinoff of J. Crew, nor do they want to be thought of as the older chains little brother (or sister). Therefore, they are doing everything possible to form a distinct and separate image of themselves.

7. The clothing they sell is trendy, yet affordable

They also do well with sales because the clothing they sell is trendy without being too expensive. Remember, they are catering to a demographic that doesn’t typically have a great deal of money to throw around. As a result, they price their items accordingly. People can into one of their stores and get clothing that looks nice without going broke in the process. That is one of the biggest reasons they have done so well this far.

8. They have a wide selection of items available

They also make it a point to carry a lot of different items. They have plenty of clothing available. Depending on how formal a person’s workplace asks them to dress, it is possible to find everything you need right there without having to go looking anywhere else. The fact that you can find an entire wardrobe in one store and you can do so affordably is enough to make virtually anyone give the store a try. For the most part, once people do give it a try they decide to stick with it because they like what they see.

9. They pay their employees better wages than most of their competitors

Madewell sets itself apart in another way, too. They pay their employees more money than most of the competition. Granted, a regular salesperson who is just starting out with the company isn’t going to get rich, but they won’t get stuck making minimum wage, either. In fact, most of their help gets paid a little more than $10 per hour to start. Individuals who have been there longer can make a great deal more money. Some of their managers even make more than $90,000 per year.

10. They don't have a credit card

A lot of people get confused because they think that their J. Crew credit card will be honored at the store, but that isn’t the case, either. Since they are trying to set themselves apart from J. Crew, they don’t honor their credit card. For now, those who enjoy shopping there will have to put their purchases on a standard VISA or MasterCard, or they can pay for their purchases in cash.

11. The idea is to eventually have a credit card of their own

Hopefully, it won’t take all that long for the company to issue a credit card of their own. It would only make sense for them to do so. If their customers have additional ways to pay for their purchases, they are far more likely to shop there. That is especially true if they can stretch those purchases out when it comes time to pay for them.

12. Both teachers and students get a discount for shopping there

One of the things that is so unique about this store is that they honor both teachers and students by giving them a discount that’s much better than you might expect. The discount is listed at 15 percent, which is actually a lot better than the types of discounts that people routinely get at other stores.

13. The store is actually doing better than J. Crew

This has already been touched on but it’s definitely worth mentioning again. When the store was initially launched, the idea was to create something that could be successful in its own rite and stand on its own two feet. In reality, the store started to perform better than J. Crew almost immediately. That is something that no one was really expecting at the time Madewell was being rolled out, but it is how things eventually played out. The store is now routinely outperforming J. Crew at virtually every turn.

14. They have managed to capture the hearts of young women of college age

Their marketing techniques, coupled with the products that they sell, has truly endeared them to young people who want to dress well without looking too stuffy. That is one of the things that separates them from J. Crew. They sell clothing that is a bit more relaxed without looking sloppy. This is something that appeals to most people who are in their twenties and even thiriees, so it bodes well for the store.

15. They sell more than just clothing

In addition, they don’t just sell clothing. In fact, they actually sell a number of accessories such as shoes and hand bags that allow their customers to complete their look without having to travel to yet another store in order to get everything they need. It makes things much more convenient for the consumer by saving them both time and money.

16. They spend a lot of time marketing their products online

One of the things they do to maintain a strong presence among their chosen demographic is market their products online. They even use social media on a routine basis. After all, they are trying to reach the very individuals that spend the greatest amount of time on these platforms, so it only makes sense that they would market their products there as well. Clearly, it is a marketing technique that has paid off.

17. They even maintain a blog to keep interest high

Younger people like to read blogs and the store has gone out of its way to maintain a blog of their own because it keeps them closes to their customers. This is one of the main ways that they have increased their customer base over a fairly short amount of time and they continue to use it as an effective marketing tool.

18. They design clothing for all occasions

Their customers like them for a lot of reasons but one of the main benefits of shopping there is that they have a wide range of products that work well for different situations. Therefore, their customers can get something for casual Friday and something for the party next weekend at the same store. Whatever you might be looking for at the time, there is a good chance that they have something you will like.

19. A lot of their clothing is made in the United States

There are plenty of stores that try to cut operational costs wherever they can and many of them do so by having their items made overseas. There are a number of problems with this tactic, not the least of which often involves unethical techniques and practices. This is not something that the store wanted to become mixed up in, so made a decision right from the start that they were going to get the overwhelming majority of the clothing and other items from factories right here in the United States. They have found other ways of keeping costs down, such as using social media for most of their advertising. In the end, it means that you get a better product that is made ethically and you don’t end up paying a lot more money for it in the process.

20. They can be found in almost any major city

Despite the fact that these stores are relatively new, they have been around long enough to have a presence in almost every major city in the United States. They don’t have a lot of store in smaller towns and they don’t even have a major presence in mid-sized towns as of yet, but they do have a number of locations on cities across the country. They are working on putting more stores in some of the smaller areas but in the meantime, you can usually find a Madewell store somewhere close. If there isn’t one in your own backyard, you can probably get to one by driving just a few miles. Once you see everything they have to offer and the prices they sell their goods at, you will probably think it was well worth the drive, even if it took a few minutes to get there.

There you have it. These are all the things about Madewell that you might not have known before. Now that you do know, you can shop there with confidence. If you haven't already tried it out for yourself, what are you waiting for? You might be surprised at just how well you like it there. One thing is certain, they have already made a name for themselves for doing business in a rather unconventional manner. That being said, it all seems to be working out quite well for them.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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