Anthropologie will participate in Black Friday 2011!!!

If you enjoy the craziness that is Black Friday, get ready to add one more destination to your list: Anthropologie! Pardon me while I pick my jaw up on the floor.

Here’s the deal: on Friday, November 25, 2011, from 6 AM to 11 AM local time Anthropologie will be offering an additional 50% off sale clothing. So if an item is marked down to $39.95 on sale, it becomes $19.98 from 6 AM to 11 AM on Black Friday.

– sale clothing only
– in-store only
– not valid on charge/sends
– items cannot be put on hold
– USA only as of now

The home office in Philadelphia is still in the midst of planning this event so the exact offer may change between now and November 25. Right now only sale clothing is expected to be discounted. However Anthropologie is considering expanding this to all sale items — accessores, shoes, home and beauty. I hope they decide to go that route and include every sale item in the 50% off discount. And I hope they remember to include our friends in Canada and Europe.

To jog our memories, last year Anthropologie did nothing on Black Friday. They just had a regular sale markdown the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Anthro then offered rotating 25% off discounts in December: 25% off full-price bags, 25% off full-price jewelry, and then eventually 25% off sale right around the end of December 2010. I’m told we can expect similar promotions this year. The Black Friday promotion may be extended after the 25th and it may show up online. Right now the goal of this promo is to drive people to the stores.

What can you expect during this promotion? Don’t expect much to hit sale between now and Black Friday. Anthropologie’s sale sections are overflowing in some stores and they need to clear out that inventory. Most of the pre-fall items are on sale already so and Anthropologie will hold the fall items at full price for as long as possible. December will likely see more markdowns than Black Friday will.

Anthropologie is walking a very fine line here — it’s clear that sales are not where the company wants them to be. In the recent past Anthro has been successful conditioning customers not to expect promotional discounts. But if the products aren’t resonating with customers the best thing they can do is clear out the items and start over. If they mark down some of the more desirable items that aren’t selling briskly at full price to entice foot traffic they will also move some of the languishing items on the sale racks. That’s what happened with me last year in December — I ended up buying more thanks to the discounts on sale and the mix of coveted and intriguing items on the sale racks.

I will pay full price for an item I feel like I can’t live without but there’s not a lot at Anthropologie that falls into that category right now. If they discount the items enough to sell them they can move on to the next, better collection. The designs are moving in the right direction. But until a cohesive, entirely desirable collection is on the racks Anthropologie needs to keep us coming back to the store to check out what’s new. A good Black Friday sale with lots of new markdowns would be just the kind of incentive I need.

What questions do you ladies have? I have to admit I’m not much of a Black Friday shopper. I hate the crowds, and the shoving, and the lack of decorum. But if the deal is good enough at Anthropologie I’ll gladly swing by my favorite store. Will you?

Thanks to Pamela (of Ginger Girl), anthro employee, and my little blue birdies for the tips! The EA community hearts you.

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