Spreading The News: WSJ On The Return Of New York J. Press Store

The news is starting to spread about the return of a proper J. Press retail store to New York City. Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported on it; WSJ subscribers can log in and access the story here.

For the rest of us, here’s a snippet:

Preppy clothing retailer J. Press said it is trying to ignite U.S. sales by opening a store in the Midtown Manhattan building that houses the Yale Club this October.
The 112-year-old haberdashery said it closed its 4,100-square-foot flagship store on Madison Avenue in 2014 after it couldn’t renew its lease because of a building renovation. J. Press now will be opening a new 2,800-square-foot store on Vanderbilt Avenue, near Grand Central Terminal.

The move near the Yale Club is one of the biggest investments for the brand in a long time, according to Jun Murakami, chief executive officer of Japanese company Onward USA, whose parent owns J. Press. He added the Midtown space is expected to generate 25% of total U.S. sales.

Mr. Murakami also said he forecasts 30% of J. Press’s sales will be generated online in the near future, and the company hopes to increase that number to 50% by relaunching its website and boosting its presence on social media.

The proximity to the Yale Club represents a homecoming of sorts for J. Press, which began by selling ties, belts and odd trousers near the school’s New Haven, Conn., campus in 1905. The brand is known in preppy circles for its embroidered collegiate logos and cocktail-themed accessories such as needlepoint martini-themed cuff links.

And here’s a snapshot of the hard copy provided by Richard Press, who is quoted later in the piece. Along with the 50th anniversary of RL, this looks to be the biggest story of 2017. — CC

15 Comments on "Spreading The News: WSJ On The Return Of New York J. Press Store"

  1. To the WSJ: there is a difference between “ivy style” and “preppy.” Please respect J. Press’ heritage by not referring to J. Press as a “preppy clothing retailer.

  2. Marc Chevalier | September 13, 2017 at 1:23 pm |

    Interesting. Stores like these are opening up in club buildings. The downtown Los Angeles branch of Brooks Brothers moved to the Jonathan Club’s building a few years ago.

  3. J. Press was founded in 1902, not 1905, it’s on their logo. WSJ couldn’t get that right, sad.

  4. Interesting to me that J. Press has ten times more employees in Japan than in the U.S. The Japanese value tradition, seniority, neatness, loyalty, and respect for elders. American culture is kind of the opposite with its love of youthfulness and innovation. Look at the trouble Brooks Brothers is in. Its core customer base is retirement age and many of its senior salesmen are also retiring. Young people today dress more casually than ever and it’s doubtful that Generation Z is looking to reverse the “slobification” of America. Unless a miracle happens, I predict the preppy/ivy/trad look will be extinct in a few years. You can already see in on ivy league campuses where there are hordes of undergraduates sporting sweatpants, t-shirts, and beards to class.

  5. This crowd will never be happy.

    I am looking forward to see what direction J Press goes in with the re-branding. Thanks for keeping us up to date, Christian.

  6. New jacket models have arrived, flannel suits and tweed jackets, all available on Bleecker Street before we make the move. Come visit!
    -Dan on Bleecker (soon to be Dan on Vanderbilt)

  7. DCG,
    What can you share about the manufacturer?

  8. @ Mitchell S
    My son-in-law’s keen adoption of Ivy (to my great delight) is hopefully a sign that your prediction of its demise may be a little premature.

  9. René Lebenthal | September 14, 2017 at 4:12 am |

    Mitchell S.
    Of course the mainstream will wear “slobby clothes”, but there will always be a certain “niche” who will dress in a trad way or ivy style inspired. Just have a look how many ivy and preppy brands there still exist.
    I wish J.Press and my friend Daniel all the best for their opening. May they conquer the trad world and beyond….

  10. Richard Meyer | September 14, 2017 at 6:48 am |

    While being in the Yale Club building, and being across from Grand Central Station has its benefits, Vanderbilt Ave. is not a main thoroughfare, as are Madison or Park Ave. Not sure if this will be successful.One can hope.

  11. One advantage that many mens’ stores have is transparency vis a vis manufacturers and even the weavers/mills.

    For instance:

    http://wmkingclothiers.com/men

    http://www.oconnellsclothing.com/Fall-Winter/

    J. Press would benefit from this approach, I think. Tell us who’s made what. It’s not like they’re a secret (Southwick, Hertling, Atkinsons, Garland…)

    I wish DCG and other members of the Squeeze crew best as they press on. To borrow a phrase, “one can hope.”

  12. Charlottesville | September 14, 2017 at 11:56 am |

    I hope the new 44th St. venture is a rousing success. When I visited the Bleecker St. store this summer, I was told that the maker of the new natural shoulder line for fall would be Empire, but I’m not sure whether this applies to all tailored items across the board. Although I don’t own any Empire clothing as far as I know (maybe some of my Press suits or sport coats?), Empire, along with Southwick, makes some of the natural shoulder clothing for Eljo’s here in my town, and they look good. I expect the new fall flannels and tweeds at J. Press will be a big success.

  13. I give them 3 years. When you want to increase sales you need great salesmen. Not managers that harass salesmen.

  14. RE: manufacturers, give us a ring and I’ll be more than happy to discuss! 212.255.6151

  15. This does not surprise me at all IMHO big well-known names investing in brick and morter again is just more proof that digital online sales have been one massive FAIL.

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