J. Crew Taps Starbucks Executive to Improve Shopper Experience

(Bloomberg) -- J. Crew Group Inc. is looking to expertise outside apparel to turn around the ailing retailer.

The preppy clothing company said Friday that it’s hiring Adam Brotman as president and chief experience officer, a newly created position that will report to Chief Executive Officer Jim Brett. Brotman comes to J. Crew from Starbucks Corp., where he served as an executive vice president and helped develop the company’s mobile order and pay app.

J. Crew has seen success slashing expenses and boosting margins, but sales continue to decline at the retailer’s flagship brand. Brett, an outsider himself from Williams-Sonoma Inc. who took the helm in July, is trying to find creative solutions to the retailer’s dwindling traffic. While the company’s Madewell division continues to grow, reporting a 13 percent increase in same-store sales in the third quarter, the J. Crew brand saw sales plummet 12 percent by that measure.

At Starbucks, Brotman was responsible for store operations. Before that, he was chief digital officer and oversaw the coffee company’s mobile app, loyalty experience and in-store Wi-Fi network. Prior to Starbucks, Brotman was CEO of Barefoot Yoga Company.

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