Years after the Charlottesville area lost its J. Crew store, the retailer is planning a comeback — on a smaller scale.
Workers this week have been adjusting the signage on the new J. Crew Factory storefront in Barracks Road Shopping Center, and the company’s website said it is accepting applications at the new location.
Barracks Road’s landlord, Federal Realty, has provided no specific date for when the store will open, only saying customers can expect to visit the store in “early 2023.” However, according to Google Maps, which is updated by business owners, the new J. Crew Factory at Barracks Road is set to open Jan. 27.
The store will be occupying 9,000 square feet carved out of the former Nike Factory Store near the Old Navy in Barracks Road, Federal Realty told The Daily Progress. The Nike store closed in March of last year.
The J. Crew brand’s return to the area will be welcome news to those who mourned its departure when the J. Crew store at Fashion Square mall in Albemarle County just north of the city closed years ago.
For several years in the 2010s, New York-based J. Crew Group – the parent company of J. Crew, J. Crew Factory as well as Madewell – struggled financially before ultimately filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May of 2020. After it emerged from those proceedings in September of that year, the company announced it was “well positioned for long-term growth” with a “reorganization” plan that would see dozens of its high-end J. Crew stores close nationwide over the next three years.
J. Crew Factory stores, in the meantime, have been opening in new locations.
Traditional factory outlets were stores attached to the factories that manufactured their goods. The term eventually began to be applied to the stores that sold the damaged and excess goods produced by the factory at sharp discounts.
The J. Crew Factory brand, on the other hand, sells clothing similar in style to its parent company but at lower prices. So customers, in the retailer’s own words, can score “the J.Crew style you’ve always loved at prices that can’t be beat.”
According to a statement from Barracks Road, the new J. Crew Factory will offer “fun, classic and colorful styles for women, men and kids, and stays committed to dressing every family for any occasion — at a great value.”
The store plans to hold a $250 gift card sweepstakes on its opening weekend as well as merchandise sales, Barracks Road said. Light refreshments will be available for customers.
There are seven J. Crew Factory stores, four J. Crew stores and five Madewell stores already operating in Virginia, according to J. Crew Group.
One of those Madwell stores is in the Barracks Road Shopping Center.