Despite continued slumping sales, complaints of declining quality, personnel shakeups, and layoffs, J.Crew still has a massive customer following. Unfortunately for J.Crew, many of those super-fans don't feel the need to show their love by paying full retail price. Now, Business Insider reports on a site called ThreadStats that is dedicated to helping J.Crew fans navigate the company's notoriously ever-changing prices. Users can search for a specific item, or broad categories like "men's shirts" or "women's dresses," and the site displays search results along with price and customer rating — all info one could find on J.Crew's site. Where ThreadStats adds crucial info is in the case of sale items. First, it tells shoppers what percentage off the full ticket price a sale item is. The site also lets you sort items by discount level, from 30 to 60 percent off — a functionality J.Crew's site lacks.
Even more interestingly, ThreadStats notes items whose prices are at a 30-day low, signaling to thrifty shoppers of the best time to buy. The site also allows you to see a complete price history of any given item. For example, a search for a knee-length skirt in cerise shows the following graph.
An interested shopper could see that the skirt is now more than half off its original retail price of $148, and is at a 30-day low, inspiring her to buy without fear that the price will soon drop further. Hitting "Buy Now" and completing the purchase through J.Crew earns ThreadStats a commission on the sale via a third party service. The site grew out of a Reddit forum called Frugal Male Fashion, where dudes trade coupons and sale info like hot stock tips. That in turn inspired a popular thread dedicated to helping shoppers navigate J.Crew's sale structure. ThreadStats is a little glitchy right now — as shown in the first screen shot above, out of stock products appear in searches with the price $0.00. The site also plans to roll out additional features, such as e-mail price alerts for tracked items, at some time in the future. But, the site's value proposition is hard to miss: It takes abstract info about J.Crew's sale strategies that have traditionally been traded by super-fans in forums, on fan sites such as J.Crew Aficionada (and on this very site), and makes it both more accessible, and more actionable than ever before. The site currently only offers this intel for J.Crew, but we can imagine Anthropologie, Lululemon Athletica, and other cult-followed brands' fans are eager for their own version. A J.Crew representative declined to comment on how ThreadStats may affect already-struggling sales. But an idea that harnesses both consumer love for the J.Crew look, and consumer frustration over the last few years' price creep, could resonate in a big way.