J.Crew is the latest retailer to start selling on Amazon after saying it wouldn't (AMZN)

  • J.Crew's low-cost Mercantile clothing line is now available on Amazon.
  • The new partnership marks a decisive shift in J.Crew's strategy as its new CEO looks to make the brand more accessible. 
  • J.Crew Mercantile is the company's value-oriented label, which was initially offered as a line at its factory stores and later rolled out into its own stores in 2015. 

If you can't beat them, join them.

On Wednesday, J.Crew became the latest brand to sell its wares on Amazon after initially holding out. 

J.Crew's Amazon page features pieces from Mercantile, the company's value-oriented label, which was initially offered as a line at its factory stores and later rolled out into its own stores in 2015. It offers a mix of clothing from women's T-shirts costing $12.50 to men's shirts costing $45. 

The news may have come as a surprise to some considering that J.Crew's former and longtime CEO, Mickey Drexler, has said in the past that the company had no plans to ever sell on Amazon. 

"No. 1, they own the customer," he said at The New York Times' DealBook conference last year, adding that Amazon could "take every bestseller and put it into their private label collection," The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

RELATED: Top-selling items from Amazon Prime Day 2018 around the world

32 PHOTOS
Top-selling items from Amazon Prime Day 2018 around the world
See Gallery
Top-selling items from Amazon Prime Day 2018 around the world

United States: In the US, the Instant Pot 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi Use was a top seller, with 300,000 purchased.

Shoppers also bought 23andMe DNA Tests and LifeStraw Personal Water Filters.

They also bought a lot of Finish Dishwasher Tablets.

Spain: Spanish shoppers were focused on tech. One of the top-selling items was a SanDisk Ultra 64GB memory card.

Spanish shoppers also bought the Cecotec Conga Excellence 990 4 in 1 iTech 3.0 robot vacuum cleaner.

Singapore: In Singapore, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar was a top seller.

Play-Doh Shape and Learn Shape a Story was flying off the shelves, and shoppers were stocking up on Kleenex Ultra Soft Toilet Tissue.

Netherlands: Shoppers in the Netherlands were also buying a lot of tech. Two of the top-selling products were the Osmart ZigBee Smart Plug and the Philips Hue White Ambiance GU10 LED Spot.

They also bought a lot of SanDisk Micro SD cards.

Mexico: Shoppers in Mexico bought a ton of Ace Powder Laundry Detergent.

They also bought the Amazon Basics USB Lightning Cable.

Luxembourg: Shoppers in Luxembourg loved the Jamie Oliver Tefal pan.

They were also buying Brita Water Filters and Solar-lamp in Preserve Jar with USB connectors.

Japan: Laundry detergent was also popular in Japan, with shoppers buying Top Super Nanox Liquid Laundry Detergent with an extra-large refill.

They also bought a ton of SAVAS Whey Protein 100 in the cocoa flavor in Japan.

Italy: Finish Dishwasher Tabs All in 1 Max were a top seller in Italy.

The Braun Multi-grooming Kit Precision Trimmer 9-in-1 for beard styling and the Hoover Rechargeable Broom 2-in-1 Freedom also flew off the online shelves.

India: In India, many shoppers bought the Redmi Y2 Gold 32 GB smartphone.

Shoppers also bought Tata salt and the Mi 10000mAH Li Polymer Power Bank 2i.

Germany and Austria: Everyone was buying a PlayStation Plus Membership in Germany and Austria.

Shoppers also were filling their carts with the Jamie Oliver Tefal Panand Osmart ZigBee Smart Plugs.

France: PlayStation Plus Memberships were also a top seller in France.

French shoppers were all about tech on Prime Day, with other top sellers including the SanDisk Ultra 64GB memory card and the TP Link Wi-Fi-connected plug.

China: Health and beauty were a focus for shoppers in China, with Philips Sonicare Healthy White HX6730 Toothbrushes and Braun Digital Ear Thermometers flying off the online shelves.

Paul & Joe Beaute Moisturizing Foundation was another top seller in China.

Canada: Canada's top sellers were similar to the US', with the Instant Pot 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi Use and LifeStraw Personal Water Filters being two of the top sellers.

Shoppers in Canada also snagged many pairs of Bose's QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Headphones.

Belgium: A lot of shoppers in Belgium were buying SanDisk Ultra 128GB memory cards.

Shoppers also bought a ton of Osmart ZigBee Smart Plugs and Philips Hue light bulbs.

Australia: Australian shoppers were all about video games. The PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB Console with Bonus Fortnite Content and FIFA 18 for PlayStation 4 were two of the top sellers.

They also bought a lot of Philips Hue light bulbs.

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Drexler also said at the time that the company was, at one point, exploring plans to be acquired by Amazon, but the deal did not go through.

However, the Amazon partnership fits neatly into the strategy of J.Crew's new CEO, Jim Brett, and his push to make the brand more accessible. J.Crew had been accused of becoming unaffordable and impractical and had alienated some customers under the leadership of Drexler and the company's longtime creative director, Jenna Lyons.

Brett's strategy seems to be paying off. J.Crew's same-store sales numbers turned a corner in the company's most recent quarterly results after dropping for the last three years. In August, J.Crew's namesake brand reported a 1% increase in comparable sales for the second quarter.

According to The Journal, J.Crew is selling the merchandise directly to Amazon, and beyond providing photos for the listings, it will not have control over how the items are warehoused and shipped. 

Brett told The Journal that the brand has developed a "good understanding" with Amazon, however.

"There are other discount retailers that have developed their own lower-priced versions of J.Crew. Amazon wanted to work directly with the people who created the concept," he said.

J.Crew declined to comment further to Business Insider. 

Amazon is expected to be the leading US apparel retailer in 2018, according to an analysis from Morgan Stanley that was reported by CNBC. It had 7.9% of market share in US apparel retail sales in 2017, coming in second to Walmart's 8.6%. 

J.Crew joins a selection of other retailers including Nike, Best Buy, Sears, and most recently, Chico's, that have started selling on Amazon. Chico's doesn't seem to be reaping the rewards of this relationship just yet, however. In its most recent quarterly results, reported in August, same-store sales were down. 

Still, Chico's CEO Shelley Broader said in a call with investors at the time that the collaboration with Amazon "is progressing nicely" and giving the brand access to new customers.

More from Business Insider:

Read Full Story