the future

Mickey Drexler Sincerely Sorry That Delia Ephron Thinks Online Shopping Is ‘Hell’

Today’s WWD directs us to yesterday’s New York Times, in which J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler responds to Delia Ephron’s op-ed piece, printed earlier in the week, titled “The Hell of Online Shopping.” In it, Ephron writes, “A few days ago, I got an e-mail from my sister Amy in Los Angeles saying she and her husband had received boxes from” the retailer — what should’ve been Christmas presents from Delia.

The cards were buried deep in the packaging, and one of them was missing. Nothing was gift-wrapped, either (although I had requested and paid for it). The boxes contained two pairs of shoes (although I had ordered only one pair), a man’s pullover and a sparkly pink woman’s sweater. The sweater was for a friend who also lives in Los Angeles, but somehow ended up being sent to Amy’s husband.

After a long phone conversation with J.Crew, a $50 gift card, a non-J.Crew package delivered to Delia but meant for “Julia,” she comes to the following Ephron-like* conclusion:

So this is my New Year’s resolution: I am never ordering another Christmas present on the Web again. Next year I am wrapping all my gifts myself and standing in line at the local post office for an hour or two to mail them. It’s the least I can do for the people I love.

As for Drexler, he called himself “more than a little surprised that a customer complaint was elevated to an indictment of online retailing on your Op-Ed page.” He added that J.Crew has shipped more than a million orders since Thanksgiving, and Ephron’s case “is hardly the norm,” but online shopping “is a growing part of retailing.” He ended his letter with:

We certainly acknowledge that what is warranted in this situation is a sincere apology — but not a generalized defamation of an efficient and valuable way of shopping today.

Then he dialed into the J.Crew offices and read it over the P.A. system.

*A term we use respectfully.

Drexler Sorry Ephron Thinks E-Shopping Is Hell