The Globe 100
Market value 100
Return on equity 100
Top profit margins
2000 Mass. IPOs
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this year's Globe 100
| 2000 Globe 100 |
1. J. JILL GROUP
A year to remember: up 344%
o Massachusetts company saw its stock price surge more during the 12-month period that ended March 31 than J. Jill Group, a Quincy-based retailer that sells Casual Friday-type clothing to affluent middle-age women.
1999 was a transition year. A company that began as a catalog merchant announced plans to discontinue its Nicole Summers line, opened its first store, and launched a retail Web site.
J. Jill's goal? To evolve into a $1 billion lifestyle brand with 300 to 500 stores. J. Jill currently operates about 30 stores and plans to open between 25 and 30 new stores a year.
Though 2000 sales were roughly flat, at about $250 million, profits rose to $12.8 million following a small loss from a 1999 restructuring. During the 12 months that ended March 31, J. Jill's stock price rose 344 percent to $17.50, the largest gain for any company in The Globe 100 universe.
Many apparel retailers aim at teens and younger women, but few focus on women between the ages of 35 and 55, said Gordon R. Cooke, J. Jill's chief executive. And, he said, older women find shopping at department stores a time-consuming hassle.
Lifestyle chains such as J. Jill and Talbots Inc. position themselves as convenient alternatives where wardrobes can be quickly purchased at a store, a Web site, or a catalog.
For a woman who wants classic styles, Hingham-based Talbots may be the place to go, but for a woman who wants something sophisticated and casual with an earthy, Bohemian flair, there's
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