J.Crew to develop new brand concept, J.Crew Mercantile

J.Crew Group has quietly registered a new brand name, "J.Crew Mercantile," indicating a fresh new store concept could be in the works.

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. 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.

J.Crew, however, is keeping mum on what the Mercantile brand could become. "It's too preliminary to discuss the subject," said J.Crew spokeswoman Margot Fooshee. The company is said to be planning an initial public offering for later this year. Story