J.Crew Group, Inc., is an American multi-brand, multi-channel, specialty retailer. The company offers an assortment of women's, men's, and children's apparel and accessories, including swimwear, outerwear, lounge-wear, bags, sweaters, denim, dresses, suiting, jewelry, and shoes. As of August 2016, it operates more than 450 retail stores throughout the United States. The company conducts its business through retail, factory, crew cuts, Madewell stores, catalogs, and online. In 1947, Mitchell Cinader and Saul Charles founded Popular Merchandise, Inc., a store which did business as Popular Club Plan and sold low-priced women's clothing marketed through in-home demonstrations. Throughout the mid-1980s, sales from catalog operations grew rapidly. "Growth was explosive—25 to 30 percent a year," Cinader later recollected in The New York Times. Annual sales grew from $3 million to more than $100 million over five years. In 1985, the "Clifford & Wills" brand was launched, selling women's clothing that was more affordable than the Popular Merchandise line. In 1987, two executives left the company to start their own catalog, Tweeds.