Preppy retailer J. Crew (JCG) announced at the end of April that the company had made major changes to its executive board. Former chief design officer Jenna Lyons stepped down from the company at the beginning of the month after the retailer continually underperformed. Her replacement? Somsack Sikhounmuong, who previously designed for Madewell, took over the position. This change, though, shifted the balance in the C-suite from majority female to majority male. Other changes included the move of Lisa Greenwald to chief merchandising officer.
So the C-suite is now majority male... what about the board of directors? Of its eight members, only one, Carrie Wheeler, identifies as a woman. That's bad news for the retailer, as research shows that companies with boards with at least three women continually outperform companies who have fewer than three women on their boards.
J. Crew's year-end earnings report was pretty dismal — revenues for 2016 declined by 3% and missed analyst expectations. This is as a rash of retailers been forced to close stores. Some have even filed for bankruptcy.
So how can J. Crew turn it around? She Spends recommends starting with the C-suite and board, where shakeups are already occurring. And if they don't? At least we'll have a fantastic bankruptcy sale to look forward to.
- Alicia McElhaney / She Spends Issue #2