Both Gap and J. Crew – two monsters of the 1980s and 1990s fashion retail boom – have had some difficult times of late. Both brands saw numerous store closings over the last few years, and both brands are struggling a bit to find their way right now, with favorability ratings at 26% for Gap and 20% for J. Crew, according to CivicScience data.
The bright spot? Both brands have sub-15% unfavorable ratings, which means there are plenty of people without a strong opinion of either clothing company. Glass half-full translation? Plenty of room to win over new – or old – customers.
The data show that the neutral feelings towards J. Crew and GAP have only blossomed with time, too.
Across virtually all metrics, Gap’s favorability outpaces J. Crew. When it comes to age, the one place J. Crew nearly catches up with Gap is with the over-55 age group, where the brand is only 6% behind Gap in favorability. Gap’s biggest lead over J. Crew? In the Millennial bracket, where they lead J. Crew in favorability by 36%.
Women prefer both stores more than men, but the differences are huge. Women like J. Crew by 22% over men, but that number jumps to 41% at the Gap.
City residents prefer both brands over suburban Americans, and both prefer the brands over rural residents. But again, Gap leads the way in all three categories, and by similar percentages, though rural Americans – at 13% – have the least favorable view of J. Crew.
Looking at some other comparisons, daily Snapchat users like both Gap and J. Crew more than people who don’t use Snapchat, indicating the app might not be the worst market for the clothing giants to wade into.
American adults who routinely eat at upscale restaurants are both big fans of the brands. People who dine out all fancy-like once a week or more like J. Crew and Gap at 31% and 33% respectively. The less often Americans go out for upscale dining, the less they care for the brands. It is notable that among Americans who eat at upscale restaurants at least a few times a month or more, the difference in favorability among the brands is slight.
When looking at free shipping and favorability, both brands lack. For U.S. adults who say free shipping is important to them when shopping online, J. Crew has a 15% favorability score, Gap 17%. Notable: Gap offers free shipping starting at orders over $50, J. Crew, as of last summer, offers free shipping to J. Crew Rewards members – and Americans who say free shipping isn’t important like J. Crew more than the Gap.
One area where J. Crew draws even with the Gap is with people who frequently travel out of the country. Among that cohort of Americans, both brands check in with a 21% favorability rating.
Lastly, household income. Despite the perception of J. Crew as a bit of a higher-end brand, Americans making over $100,000 a year still prefer the Gap to J. Crew.
Gap and J. Crew are two clothing brands seeking to reignite their past glories. Both companies have plenty of room to sway public opinion. The question, really, is whether they are nimble enough to do so.