No, you did not accidentally get sent to J.Crew Aficionada. (Although I highly recommend you mosey on over there at some point — I read the news and then it’s my first blog read in the morning, every morning!) This is a post strictly a rant. Guess where the majority of my October spending budget is going? (Small as it is.) J.Crew. Why? Because they’re giving me free shipping.
I’m not really a discount shopper. I’m many things when it comes to shopping: impulsive, competitive, selective, etc. However paying full price vs. discount isn’t normally a huge deal to me. If I like something I’ll pay full price it to get it before other people do. But these days my discretionary income is down yet my impulses remain the same so I fully admit to being easily swayed by whichever store is offering the best deal in any given week. Most of my designer stuff is now being saved for special occasions. I’m shopping the midrange heavily.
Last spring J.Crew did pretty much everything wrong in my book. I’m a silver cardholder with them which gets me the honor of paying 20%+ interest when I carry a balance but no real perks. (Sorry, a $25 gift card for every $500 spent aka 5% cash back is not cutting it with me. I get much better rewards at a much lower interest rate on my Amex.) J.Crew’s website was down all the time from application errors. They dropped me from their catalog distribution list; they messed up two online orders in a row; they refused to price adjust an item for me.
So I hit them back where it hurts. Over the spring and summer I cut my spending with J.Crew by 90%. Their profits were up for the quarter so I can’t claim that I really had an effect. Somehow though I think the Crackheads took notice. Last week I got a card in the mail letting me know that I could get free shipping on any online/phone order through October 11. They even gave me my own VIP number a phone number that everyone else who got the card had too! No waiting time on the phone though. I’m far from the only one who got this card and the pattern seems to be it was sent to peeps who hadn’t ordered from them in awhile.
It was convergence — I love fall clothing. I wanted to buy fall clothing. I was willing to give J.Crew another chance. And so far it’s paid off in spades. I’ve placed four (!!!) small orders and will probably place one more before the promotion ends.
I love Anthropologie’s fall line. In my completely biased opinion it’s better than J.Crew’s. Their customer service is 1000 times better and that’s why they usually get the lion’s share of my moola. But my most desired items aren’t in-store yet. And I don’t want to pay shipping. Even at my most spendthrift shipping charges have been hard to take. I admit that right now I want a bit of an incentive. I know that Anthropologie’s modus operandi is not to discount. And I respect that. I think it makes Anthro stronger as a business. BUT. Free shipping is almost a necessity to stay competitive at the moment. A lot of retailers are already unveiling “holiday” promotions. (Sick, isn’t it?) So call it an early present and bring back the free shipping. Please? My outfits need more Anthro!
shoes – last year’s J.Crew Serengeti peep toes in cool graphite
skirt – last year’s J.Crew cord vintage pencil skirt
top – Anthropologie’s Swept Away Top ($48) in slate
cardigan – Banana Republic’s crewneck cardigan ($70)
jewelry – bought on Hawaii’s Big Island in 2007
shoes – CL by Chinese Laundry flats
jeans – Gap Long & Lean jeans
shirt – J.Crew crosshatch shirt
cardigan – J.Crew Jackie ($60) in deep rose
shoes – J.Crew Cossette Mary Jane Peep Toes (now $99) in whisper pink
inspired by this post on A Bigger Closet’s blog
tights – Gap from last year
skirt – J.Crew vintage cord pencil skirt ($60) in glazed pecan
tank – J.Crew Perfect-fit falling ruffles tank ($30) in retail-only color
cardigan – J.Crew Merino Maya cardigan ($88) in dusty blossom
jewelry – J.Crew Duchess Stone necklace ($98) in dusty blossom
& Crystal Symphony Necklace ($98) in soft pumpkin
shoes – Frye Molly braid ballet flats
skirt – J.Crew Paintbrush Floral skirt
tank – American Eagle
cardigan – J.Crew Melanie merino cardigan
necklace – Ann Taylor Loft