What's In Store

Changes coming to this J.Crew store at the Park Road Shopping Center

Park Road Shopping Center has come alive with trendy hotspots.
Park Road Shopping Center has come alive with trendy hotspots. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

After operating for only about three years at Park Road Shopping Center, J.Crew Mercantile will be converted into a J.Crew Factory store.

The change stems from a decision J.Crew made in November to discontinue its Mercantile brand, a lower-cost line that J.Crew launched in 2015 that sells the same apparel, accessories and footwear found at J.Crew Factory stores. The Park Road store was the only Mercantile in Charlotte.

The company confirmed the change at Park Road Shopping Center. Other details remain unclear, however, including when the transition will take place, and whether the store will close temporarily when the transition occurs.

Since J.Crew Factory sells the same products as J.Crew Mercantile, it’s unlikely shoppers will notice much of a change within the store.

Edens is the developer that bought Park Road Shopping Center in 2011. The firm’s spokeswoman, Meghann Klein, said in an email that the discontinuation of Mercantile is surprising since the Park Road location has been “very, very strong.”

The Wall Street Journal first reported the discontinuation of Mercantile along with a newly launched brand called Nevereven in late November. The decision is intended “to “return the J.Crew brand to profitable growth,” according to the Journal. For the third quarter, J.Crew reported a a net loss of $5.7 million compared with a loss of $18.4 million in the same period the year prior.

J.Crew operates 133 Factory stores, and 42 Mercantile stores, according to its most recent earnings report.

There are two other J.Crew Factory stores in the Charlotte area — at Concord Mills and at Charlotte Premium Outlets.

As the retail and sports business reporter for the Observer, Katie Peralta covers everything from grocery-store competition in Charlotte to tax breaks for pro sports teams. She is a Chicago native and graduate of the University of Notre Dame.
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