Shops at Park Lane

Shops at Park Lane

When was the last time you shopped at J. Crew? If you can’t remember, you’re not alone. Last year was terrible for the retailer.

“By the holiday quarter, the store’s gross margin rate had fallen to 34.5 percent,” reports

But don’t fret – CEO Mickey Drexler has a plan. In an effort to lure bargain shoppers, the retailer will open 21 discount stores by 2016. Yesterday, the effort kicked off when the Shops at Park Lane became home to the first J. Crew Mercantile in the country. Clothing for men, women and children fills the 7,000-square-foot space. Styles are similar to those sold in traditional J. Crew stores, but are more affordable.

Affordability seems in vogue at Shops at Park Lane. The center already boasts several discount stores. This fall, it will acquire one more. Forever 21 plans to open F21 Red next to Old Navy. The concept store promises to be vast and inexpensive.

But if you’ve sworn off shopping completely, check out Shops at Park Lane’s new green space. The 10,000-square-foot area comes equipped with power outlets, free wi-fi and interactive fountains. Go on the right day and you might hear live music, see a movie or catch a yoga class.

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