update 4/1 8:15 PM – in case anyone stumbles across this post NOT on April Fool’s Day, this post is just a joke. I made it all up.
As we all know, Anthropologie is big on Earth Day and earth-friendliness year-round. Last year they taught us all about the plight of the honeybee and sold Bee-themed tees to help the cause. This spring all of their window displays were made by recycling plastic bottles. This year however they’re taking things one step further. To demonstrate their committment to the Earth Anthropologie has announced plans to do away with their shopping bags altogether. The replacement? Take-home dress forms.
“Our customer base is quite familiar with the dress forms,” said Urban Outfitters CEO Glen Senk. “They see them on the website; they see them in-store. By allowing our customers to put their purchases on a dress form and take it home with them we’re utilizing items we already have while driving return visits.”
Thanks to my oh-so insider Anthropologie connections I was able to see a live demonstration of this new practice at the 5th Ave store right here in NYC. A sales associate took the three items I’d bought — the Cooling Magma Dress ($258), the Roaming Frills Cardigan ($88) and the Secret-Keeper Mini Bag ($168) — and one by one dressed the mannequin with each. She then recorded my mannequin number in the store’s logbook and I was free to take home my new appendage-less friend for 48 hours. “The other great thing about this program,” the SA said, “is it pushes our customers to think in terms of outfits. You’re displaying your purchases for all to see here in the city so you want to make sure it looks good!” Hmm, interesting. I hope to draw inspiration from the looks I see from other Anthro shoppers!
“See you on Saturday!” she cheerfully said as I left. The door security guard was nice enough to hold the gigantic wooden door open for me while I strolled out with my plunder. Since I was the only one allowed to see the demo I couldn’t really take any pics — hopefully these stock photos above give you a general idea of what it was like. Getting the mannequin home was a bit of a pain. I initially tried the subway but found the crowded downtown 1 train a less than friendly place for such a bulky item. I ended up taxiing it. I suppose this wouldn’t be an issue in the suburbs though where most have cars.
Once home, I put my new buys away but quickly realized the dress form would be good for more than just transporting my new goods home. I started trying out different outfits on the mannequin and was able to plan all of my work outfits for next week. Not too shabby! Returning the damn thing is going to be a pain though…I hope Anthropologie introduces a rent-to-own type program for the dress forms soon.
This shopping-bag replacement program will roll out in NYC first on Thursday, April 22 (Earth Day). It should be nationwide by the end of May.
So ladies, what do you think of this new program? Are you excited to bring dress forms home with you? Or is this a silly idea?
Happy April Fools’ Day!
Previously: Anthropologie’s Fall 2009 Preview