Let J.Crew Serve As an Example

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J.Crew Group is one of the few retailers that seem to be weathering the economic downturn. While competitors report dismal sales, its revenues are actually increasing and sales at stores open at least a year are staying in the black. So, what's their secret? Part of it might be old-fashioned honesty and communication.

This week, the company sent out an e-mail titled "With Our Apologies ..." to address issues with its website and call center. The e-mail reads, in part, "We've made some mistakes ... too many in our mind. We want to say that we're sorry for any issues you have experienced while shopping J.Crew online or over the phone over the last few weeks -- we know we've let you down."

The note goes on to explain that the retailer is enhancing its website and call center and is experiencing some problems as a result. It's signed by Millard Drexler, chairman-CEO, and Tracy Gardner, president. This comes on the heels of a discount that was being offered on the website to customers who did have the patience to shop through the kinks.

Retailers out there, take note.