Anthropologie has launched two new promos this morning! Firstly, its sale is now an extra 40% off (discount reflects at checkout). Also this morning, full price boots and booties are now 30% off. I’m like a kid in a candy store with this promo!
I recently shared highlights from the most recent set of markdowns in this post. Inside, picks for the promos and why Anthropologie is losing the promotions game right now…
Let’s start with boots, something I am looking to stock up on right now to replace some beloved retired pairs. The Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn Huron Ankle Boots (now $111, above) are getting mixed reviews on Anthro’s site. I’ve tried them on and here’s my assessment: they are not the most comfortable booties ever (ordering a 1/2 size up and putting in a gel insole will help a lot) but they are fine. The taupe color is much stiffer than this chocolate color shown above. I love them; I’m buying them! If they sell out at Anthro they are also on sale at Kelsi Dagger’s official site.
Other boots I’m loving right now at Anthropologie are the Hudson Velvet Apisi Ankle Boots (now $174), the Rachel Comey Mars Booties (now $335, a tremendous deal for in-season Rachel Comey!!), the Billy Ella Embossed Velvet Booties (now $160), the Miss Albright Benna Heeled Booties (now $132) and the Candela Mercedes Boots (now $258).
Also, conveniently, the weather boots section is now empty. Uh-huh Anthro, way to frustrate loyal customers. Eye roll.
Over in sale, the best picks from my wishlist right now are:
1 | The Purple Haze Blouse (now $100 + 40% off), runs TTS and looks great under blazers and cardis.
2 | The Laced High-Neck Blouse (now $90 + 40% off) is great under leather jackets! TTS.
3 | The Mixed-Stripe Wool Cardigan (now $100 + 40% off) is my everyday cardigan at the moment. TTS.
4 | The Mariona Shirtdress (now $90 + 40% off) works over other dresses, under cardi wraps, and is generally awesome! I sized down in this one.
5 | I broke down and bought the Embroidered Northerner Coat (now $180 + 40% off) because it’s so damn cute! No regrets. TTS.
While these promotions are wonderful I can’t help but feel underwhelmed. It’s a hard retail climate right now — nearly every retailer is doing extra % off sale, and even fast fashion retailers like Zara are doing at least 20% off sale.
Normally a % off sale would really be something to jump at but these promotions have become all too frequent this year. Anthropologie seems to have invested in a strategy of occasional full-price discounts, waiting ever longer to put things on sale, and then discounting sale heavily when they finally do markdowns.
It’s not working. The biggest part of the problem for me is that the new stuff doesn’t present as a cohesive collection (I’m having a hard time making outfits in my head these days with Anthro’s selection) and the online styling is very uninspiring. Sorry, but it is kind of awful really. And I think that’s less about who the stylists are (I love Christina at the home office!!) and more about the pieces.
Forget for a moment about our wishes for Anthro to move back to its roots, no matter what the inner doctrine is the fact is there are way too many items to choose from that don’t seem to go with anything else Anthro is selling. Not too mention that in my opinion there are way too many items, period.
So, an uninspiring collection begets an overflowing sale room because you can’t discount pieces people don’t want enough. Someone’s doing something right as I have noticed the popular pieces are selling out quickly — but those items are very few and far between.
Sadly, Anthropologie seems to be following J.Crew’s poorly thought out direction of chasing trends at the expense of their traditional buyer base. J.Crew is finally, maybe, righting that ship by going back to its classics as 70% of its collection with 30% experimentation — this last quarter, J.Crew’s writedowns were finally in the single digits after being very high double-digits the last six quarters running.
We’ll talk about this more in the quarterly call post coming up but I did want to open up the discussion here. Community, what are you thinking right now?