by Stephen Garner
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J.Crew Group said this week that it has reopened 171 stores, bringing the total re-opened locations to 315, representing 64 percent of its total store fleet, following the temporary closure of all locations due to public health restrictions related to COVID-19.

Based on a successful test re-opening of seven stores, J.Crew Group began a phased re-opening of its nearly 500 stores in May.

With the re-openings, J.Crew Group has reactivated the majority of its store associates from furlough. Due to strong business momentum and increased demand, the company has added approximately 400 positions at its Lynchburg, VA distribution center. Job expansion at the distribution center, which supports J.Crew Group’s e-commerce businesses, stemmed from continued online sales momentum that was increasing even before stores were closed during the pandemic.

J.Crew Group also provided an update on its real estate optimization strategy this week, related specifically to discussions with landlords regarding improving store lease terms as part of its restructuring process and efforts to position the company for long-term growth. J.Crew Group continues to have productive discussions with landlords regarding lease terms that will further inform its real estate optimization strategy. As part of its reorganization, J.Crew Group has filed notice with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to reject 67 store leases. The company will remove a store lease from the rejection list in the future if it reaches an acceptable resolution with the affected landlord.

As of June 12th, the company operates 181 J.Crew retail stores, 140 Madewell stores, jcrew.com, jcrewfactory.com, madewell.com and 170 factory stores.