Why J. Crew is better than Banana Republic.

It’s no secret that I am a J. Crew hoarder collector. I could live on a diet of no.2 pencil skirts and Texas Ruby Red Organic grapefruits and be quite happy.

So what keeps me coming back and paying that pretty price tag? It’s quite simple, really.

1)quality. I know that it is a good product and I know that it is durable. None of that wear-it-once-and-toss it crud. *coughforever21cough* It’s definitely worth the money.

2)fit. Let’s be real. I have a waist that is a lot smaller than my hips. Some call them childbearing hips. I choose to ignore that statement. That being said, it’s sometimes hard to find clothes, especially skirts, that don’t make me look like I’m headed to da club. J. Crew fits and I can trust that it will 110%.

3)the people. Five words for you: Mickey Drexler and Jenna Lyons. The CEO and Creative Director are geniuses. Not to mention J. Crew staff are 97% of the time the best. (only 97% of the time because of an incident that occured in their Little Rock store).

This brings me to the meat of this post. I was shopping a couple weeks ago and went into the Banana Republic store in NorthPark mall. I found these great pants- navy with kelly green print. I have a thing for fun pants. In fact, one of my superiors at work told me I should shop at Loudmouth.com because one time I wore a pair of paisley crops to work (J. Crew of course). I loved the BR pants, but didn’t have a blouse at home that would pair well with it. I asked a lady in the fitting room if she knew of a top that would go well with them.

I often ask, because a)I don’t want to leave the fitting room and b)I like to see other people’s style, so it will broaden my own.

She told me no…you’re telling me that there wasn’t a top in the entire store that would go well with these pants, lady? I didn’t say that of course, just went on my way and purchased them. Lo and behold a passed a shirt on the way out that would have accompanied the pants quite well; however, I was ready to get to the next store and just passed it by. That sales rep cost her store a sale that day, as well as some respect. All because she didn’t try to help me. Isn’t that, i don’tknow…like her job?

J. Crew on the other hand, is always there to help. They start me a fitting room without me having to ask…They help accessorize and complete my outfits…They bring me additional items that might pair well with something I have chosen…need I say more?

Didn’t think so.

Be better than Banana Republic, and gosh darnit, be better than the Gap. They are one in the same, you know. If Ryan Gosling says it, you know it’s true.

So what do you think?

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11 thoughts on “Why J. Crew is better than Banana Republic.

  1. As a Gap-er, I agree that Jcrew is higher quality!! But there are other factors as to why there is a difference in customer service between Jcrew and Banana…with the latter, there is more focus on getting credit cards; also if you notice, gap/banana (esp at northpark) are high-volume producing and high-traffic stores so often times, there are not enough sales associates to provide the level of service that Jcrew can provide. Despite the intent to focus on customer service, gap/banana has a different marketing strategy and I’ll admit, different standards of quality, in comparison to Jcrew so you can’t expect to get the same, consistent level of service as you would at Jcrew or Nordstrom.

    • Totally agree, Mary! But I have worked at other retail stores(Delia’s, JCP) and there is someone assigned to fits or the fitting room area. At Delia’s we always got an item for a customer, even if they didn’t ask for it. This girl at BR was assigned to fits and was the one who gave me a room. She was focused on doing go-backs, which yes, is important to keep track of, BUT if a customer asks a style question that could lead to more sales, I personally thing that is more important. People often tease me (I don’t mind) about my love for J. Crew and ask me why I like it better than others; Banana Republic is usually one that it is compared to. Also, Gap Inc. (Gap, BR, Old Navy, Athleta) fired Mickey Drexler after he brought them out of a pit. He then went to J.Crew and made it what it is today. Then *surprise* Gap wanted him back, because after he left (whether him leaving was related or not) their sales,etc. plummeted. This post was partly a jab at that, as Gap is still struggling. All that being said, I do have a few items from Gap, but more from BR. My items from BR are often the in the same price range as my items from J. Crew. I think the overall fashion sense, fit, and quality are better at J. Crew, so I choose to shop mostly from there, as I think it is the best investment of my money:)

  2. Slighty Dissagree. I do think J.Crew is great quality but thier clothes are not made for the average women or someone with any kind of figure. thier clothes are what i like to call “unforgiving”. I personally like banana a little better because I know i can fit anything in the store; wheras with J.Crew its a constant miss for me. I think both of these companies are great; it just comes down to what type of customer you are. I actually just did a review on this! Let me know what you think
    http://aprettythought.org/

    • I agree that one store can be better based on what you need and are looking for! For me, J. Crew has the most wins, not to say Banana doesn’t do some things, just as well or better than J. Crew. Thanks for your input! I always love another side to the story.

  3. I’ll weigh in, even though I’m a bit late to the conversation. First, a caveat: I’m a dude.

    I’ve been a card-carrying BR shopper/enthusiast for over 6 years – it was one of the first stores where I could rely on finding a nearly perfect fit. A huge chunk of my wardrobe is from BR.

    This fall I decided I wanted a simple button-down blue/white gingham long sleeve shirt. I didn’t want a non-iron dress shirt (probably BR’s best men’s item), I wanted a more casual appearance. I stumbled on J.Crew online and found a “secret wash” shirt that was perfect and suddenly I was on to the far more varied and eclectic content at J.Crew.

    I tend to predominantly shop online, but so far my in-store experiences have been far more friendly at BR. Perhaps it had something to do with being a thirty-something dad, but J.Crew seemed to only be staffed with aloof, snooty teens at my local store. The two BRs near me have more adult employees that are usually very helpful and friendly.

    I still trust BR for chinos, jeans and non-iron dress shirts, but I’m finding J.Crew’s casual shirts and other items more compelling and in some cases, of better quality. I’m thinking BR’s rather monotone current selection may be by design since they have GAP to be a little more youthful.

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