The Anthropologie Black Friday 2012 Prep Post

This image is from 2011 and is not current.

It’s the big question in our community: what will Anthropologie do for Black Friday 2012? No official word yet (it’s likely not coming til Wednesday) but we have some hints. Inside, let’s take some educated guesses, plan for the big day and talk about what might happen after Black Friday.

UPDATED 11/22/2012 7:30 AM with link to details post, edits with official details on Anthropologie’s Black Friday promotion.


Black Friday is of course the nickname for the day when many retailers cross from being in the red for the year (aka no profit) to being in the black (aka profit!). So it’s no wonder that they try to create as much of a frenzy in consumers as possible. The message of buy buy BUY is everywhere and it’s really easy to get sucked in. Before last year Anthropologie never formally participated in Black Friday. I can remember a few years circa 2002-2004 where they had quiet in-store sales. Now like many holdouts they’ve been forced to join the conga line of deals.

Everything from here on down in this post is now official.

A quick summary of our best guesses:
– Anthropologie’s Black Friday promotion will be 20% off all regular-priced items for anthro loyalty program members (not sure what anthro is? read about it here)
– This promotion runs ALL DAY FRIDAY
– NOT ALL STORES will open at 6 AM. See when your store opens here.
– Promotion is valid in stores and online with a one-time use code that’s being emailed out 11/22
– Anthropologie WILL NOT honor PAs during Black Friday
– Stores will likely leave their phones off the hook during the Black Friday sale hours
– Stores WILL NOT hold items during the Black Friday sale hours
– Throughout the weekend, sale items are an additional 25% off (no code required)

WHAT WILL ANTHROPOLOGIE’S BLACK FRIDAY PROMOTION BE? 
Anthro members get 20% off regular-priced items in stores and on the Anthropologie website via a one-time use code that’s being emailed on Thursday, 11/22/2012. This promotion lasts ALL DAY Friday, 11/23/2012 only.

WILL ANTHROPOLOGIE’S BLACK FRIDAY BE IN STORES ONLY OR ONLINE TOO? 
Both. In stores and on their website.

WILL I BE ABLE TO GET PRICE ADJUSTMENTS (PAs) DURING THE BLACK FRIDAY SALE?
No. At least not according to the email about Black Friday.

There is a caveat here. Last year some customers were successful in getting PAs due to extremely nice SAs breaking the rules. But I would not count on it and know that any SA that does a PA is not following policy and you risk getting them in trouble by asking. Personally I wouldn’t even bother asking.

So for those of you thinking about pre-ordering items and trying for PAs…I wouldn’t. Just my recommendation.

You can read Anthropologie’s official price adjustment policy here.

WILL STORES HOLD ITEMS DURING THE BLACK FRIDAY SALE HOURS?
No. Some SAs may break the rules to do this for you. But they are breaking the rules. Many of the busier stores will have their phones off the hook during the Black Friday sale hours or perhaps all day Friday.

WILL STORES DO CHARGE/SENDS DURING THE BLACK FRIDAY SALE HOURS?
No. Again, some SAs may break the rules to do this for you. But they are breaking the rules. Many of the busier stores will have their phones off the hook during the Black Friday sale hours or perhaps all day
Friday.

For those new here, a charge/send is when you call a store, pay for an item in that store by phone and the store ships the item to you.

WILL MY ANTHROPOLOGIE WEBSITE ORDER GET CANCELLED? I’M WORRIED ABOUT INVENTORY.
This is the big question. Last year you may recall that there was such a rush of orders that Anthropologie got overwhelmed. There were big inventory issues with orders placed on Anthropologie’s website during Black Friday. And that was before the mess that has been the last 6 months, with loooong lead times between placing an order and cancellations and stores fulfilling some orders.

If Anthropologie is smart they’ll disable the store fulfillment function for online orders on Black Friday. It would be very hard for any website to keep up with the rush of traffic a flash sale like this brings. Even the fastest database can’t process hundreds of transactions simultaneously. The front-end servers will be working faster than the back-end servers and the result is that yes some orders will get cancelled and some items will show as having inventory when they don’t. Anthropologie’s challenge is to keep those as few and far between as they can.

Your safest bet is to go to an Anthropologie store and buy the items you want in person. I realize that’s not possible for everyone. But if you have the choice, be there to grab the item yourself. People in no-Anthro zones depending on the website will be at a distinct disadvantage.

Here’s the worrisome part: you may successfully place an order on Black Friday only to have it cancelled days or weeks later. I hope this doesn’t happen, I really hope Anthropologie’s nailed down the issues they’ve been having in fulfillment. I’m not confident they have.

IF I PLACE AN ORDER ON BLACK FRIDAY AM I SURE TO GET IT IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS? WHAT ABOUT HANUKKAH?
So long as there’s inventory to fulfill your order yes you’ll get it in time for either holiday. Hanukkah’s pretty early this year, starting on the evening of Saturday December 8th. Better get cracking on that holiday shopping for your Jewish friends/family!

I’M IN CANADA! WHAT ABOUT ME?
Last year Anthropologie’s Canadian stores participated in Black Friday. My guess is that they will this year as well.

WILL BLACK FRIDAY ONLY APPLY TO SALE ITEMS? WHAT ABOUT HOME STUFF? ACCESSORIES?
No Anthropologie’s Black Friday sale does not apply to sale items, but there is a separate promotion where sale items are an additional 25% off. All full-priced item are included — clothing, accessories, shoes + boots, beauty, home.

WHAT ABOUT AFTER BLACK FRIDAY? ANY MORE SALES COMING?
If last year is any guide, we can expect a promotion on sweaters in early December. Last year it was 50% off all sweaters and outerwear for two days only. Then later in December there was a 30% off all sale items promotion. So before you rush headfirst into Black Friday, consider that some awesome deals are probably on the way and won’t have the same rush or craziness to them.

ANY RECOMMENDATIONS ROXY?
Uh yup. First, set yourself a budget and stick to it. I’d probably pre-load my shopping basket with the gifts I’m looking to buy to make checkout as quick as possible on Friday. Be prepared for cancellations. And most importantly keep chill. It’s just stuff!! There’s no sense in knocking someone over. No sense in getting super upset if an order gets cancelled. I cannot believe that people die in Black Friday stampedes each year. It’s terrible.

Remember too that an item you’re not that into isn’t any better on sale or super sale. Watch yourself — don’t grab items just because they’re a great deal. Buy them because you want them or because you want to gift them. Don’t fall into the trap.

Personally my plan is to go to my stores since I’m lucky enough to have 5 in the city. Or I might skip Black Friday altogether. I just hate the pressure and frenzy of it all.

QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? ASK AWAY!!

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