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

J. Crew today is milking the inauguration exposure.

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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.