Just when we thought J. Crew was going private, in a $3-billion private-equity deal, some big retail names are apparently showing interest in the apparel chain. Neither of them, Sears and Urban Outfitters, make much sense on the surface.
A potential Sears buyout might spell disaster for J. Crew, according to a Bloomberg report. The deal would be “great for Sears but horrible for J. Crew,” the news organization quoted Needham & Co. analyst Christine Chen, who added “It would have a negative impact on the J. Crew brand.”
Any similarties to when Sears acquired Lands End, anyone?
An Urban Outfitters scenario seems less disastrous for the J. Crew brand, but doesn’t make much sense. Urban, the owner of its namesake chain, Anthropologie, Free People and other brands, usually creates its own concepts instead of picking them up through acquisitions. However, the company doesn’t operate anything quite like the preppy J. Crew chain.
Do you think an acquisition by either of these retailers is likely, and if so, would either work?