J.Crew is shutting down one of its most popular stores in a grim sign for the company’s future

J.Crew is leaving Manhattan's Soho neighborhood.

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J.Crew is leaving Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood.
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Facebook/J.Crew

  • J.Crew is shutting down its 21-year-old flagship store located at 99 Prince Street in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood.
  • The closure will leave J.Crew without a full-line store in Soho, which is one of the top shopping districts in New York City.
  • J.Crew’s same-store sales fell 12% in the most recent quarter.

J.Crew is closing one of its highest-volume stores as the brand’s sales plummet.

The retailer is shutting down its 21-year-old flagship store located at 99 Prince Street in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood, a person familiar with the closure told Business Insider.

The company made the decision to close the store due to unsustainable rent costs, the source said.

When it opened in 1996, the Prince Street store was J.Crew’s second location in New York City.

The closure will leave J.Crew without a full-line store in Soho, which is one of the top shopping districts in New York City. The retailer plans to continue operating its 13 other stores in New York City, inlcuding six full-line stores in Manhattan. It will also continue operating a men’s shop in Soho.

The closure comes as J.Crew prepares to shut down as many as 50 stores in the face of flagging sales and traffic.

Same-store sales at the company’s namesake brand fell 12% in the most recent quarter, continuing a long streak of declines.

Last year, J.Crew’s total sales fell 6%, to $2 billion, and same-store sales dropped 8% after decreasing 10% the year before.

The clothing company parted ways earlier this year with its longtime CEO Mickey Drexler, as well as its creative director Jenna Lyons.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Drexler said the retailer’s biggest mistake over the last several years is that it jacked up its prices at a time when customers were increasingly cost-conscious.

“We gave a perception of being a higher-priced company than we were – in our catalog, online, and in our general presentation,” Drexler told The Journal. “Very big mistake.”