J.Crew puts a stop to Mercantile rumors

Earlier this month, J.Crew Group quietly registered a new brand name, "J.Crew Mercantile," leading some to believe a new store concept was in the works. However, CEO Millard "Mickey" Drexler said that no new brand is being developed and the company registered the name simply because it has a nice ring to it.

"We are always weighing possibilities," Drexler told Women's Wear Daily. "I have a very restless mind and therefore our company has a restless mind, creatively. There are a number of names we own, that we registered. That's ongoing. If something strikes our fancy, we register a name."

The company filed an application on Nov. 25 to trademark the phrase for selling clothing and accessories, both online and in retail locations, according to a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. There had been speculation that the company plans to use the name to create a chain for budget shoppers, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

Drexler, however, was adamant that the J.Crew Group has not decided what to do with the name and it may never be used.

"It doesn't require any work to register a name," Drexler said. "Most of the time, things don't come out of it. We have not conceptualized or internalized it. We are exploring whether or not we use it."

For more:
-See this Women's Wear Daily article
-See this Wall Street Journal article

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