Will the Obama Girls' Fashions Boost J. Crew's Sales?

J. Crew today is milking the inauguration exposure.


Today, J. Crew today is milking the exposure it received yesterday when the first daughters wore its coats (periwinkle! guava pink!) to the swearing-in ceremony. The company Web site's front page today features not clothes, but gigantic, front-and-center type that reads "CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FIRST FAMILY" and "*Yes, the wore crewcuts! Find out more..." J. Crew even rushed out a press release yesterday.

The company pulled a similar move--and a lucrative one--when Michelle Obama appeared on Jay Leno's show and said she purchased the yellow outfit she was wearing online at J. Crew. The next day, the site's online traffic as a whole surged 64 percent, according to New York magazine.

It's most definitely a short-term boost, but every little bit helps. Especially given the bleak outlook for retailers. J. Crew's shares, which have slid from $50 in May 2008 to $9 yesterday, look like they'll close at $10 today.