Let’s talk Anthro’s survey

Check your email, Anthro lovers! There might just be a survey waiting for you. It arrived in my inbox yesterday (September 7) with the subject line “We’re curious…”

To entice you to take the survey there’s even a treat at the end — 20% off your next full price purchase. I’ve got the code (which is the same for everyone) at the bottom of this post. I’m delighted that Anthropologie sent out this survey even though I had some really harsh words for them this time around. That they are surveying us says that they are trying and wanting to understand what their customers want. That’s reassuring to me. Let’s talk content of the survey, my answers, and your answers too.

After a quick demographics question, Anthropologie launched right into the good stuff. The survey I received (which I believe in the same for everyone but please do correct me if I’m wrong) is all about why we shop or no longer shop at Anthropologie. In the past I’ve tried to be supportive yet critical. This time? I went right for blunt honesty.

My answers to the top question?
Low quality
Used to be great

Ouch I know, but that’s how I feel. From the boxes at the bottom I selected “I used to shop there but haven’t recently.” This isn’t entirely accurate — I did make a few NYFW purchases there this week, but I hadn’t bought anything there over the Summer of note and felt it was the closest to my true feelings.

Next the survey had me rate some adjectives for how much I felt they described Anthropologie, on a scale of 1 (not much) to 3 (totally describes them).

Le sigh. How would you rate Anthropologie on these things? Next, I got to rate Anthro on a greater scale, from 1 (weak) to 10 (strong) on a range of departments.

I gave them a high score in furniture and decor because I truly think they’re knocking it out of the park there with design, though I think they could do better on price points. My tough scores elsewhere are more clearly defined below.

What scores would you give Anthro in each of these categories?

Later in the survey, I got a chance to share specific feedback on several areas of my choice. First up, I chose to address quality.

Building upon what I said above, I don’t blame Anthropologie alone for the quality drop that’s nearly across the board in retail. As retailers have offshored production to cheaper and cheaper countries, processes and safeguards that used to be in place have been lost. Quality control? Nearly a thing of the past.

So I’d give just about any retailer the same harsh words I’ve given Anthro here. What disappoints me greatly about Anthropologie though was that they’d avoided these issues for so much longer than everyone else. How did they let themselves fall prey to the crap-o monsters?

What more really needs to be said on clothing that fits, right? These days Anthropologie makes it a lot of work to find the waist. Women don’t want to have to find the waist.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Anthro’s current styles too. I know we talk about this ad nauseum, but this post is the ideal forum for it!

Oh, the online experience question. I didn’t even get a chance to mention the issues with so many online only items here but luckily I got another chance later in the survey.

Next up I was asked to ranked how frequently I consider Anthropologie for the below categories.

What a great question, because this and a few follow-ups allowed me to emphasize that I don’t need to go to Anthropologie to buy beauty stuff. I wish they’d devote the floor space they’ve given to beauty to more accessories and online-only clothing instead.

What’s more, if they are going to have beauty in store then they need a beauty specialist on-duty at all times so that I can ask questions. I hardly ever make a beauty purchase without trying something on my skin first (as in a professional application done by a makeup artist) and getting recommendations from an expert. Even at Sephora or Ulta or its ilk I’m not buying unless it’s a brand I’ve already tried with an artist.

When I visited the Portland Anthropologie & Co last year the staff had been through a pre-opening 6 week training with many of the beauty brands carried in-store. Meanwhile, here in NYC all the Anthros have beauty counters but no one seems to have much specific knowledge about the brands. How can Anthropologie not see this as a huge hole? There’s no beauty bar where I can make an appointment or walk in for a consultation.

In their last several quarterly earnings call Anthro has highlighted beauty as a sweet spot in their performance, so I’m mystified by all these customers who buy an item…I guess based on knowing a brand already or impulse? I don’t know but the beauty bars in the stores haven’t really been too tempting to me…except when I try to think of Instagram flatlay shots for the blog. (How meta.)

The final question in the survey was an open question — is there any other feedback you want to give? Here is what I said.

“Anthropologie used to be my favorite store. Each season, I keep hoping that things will have turned around, that you will have emerged from your quarter life crisis of trying to be too young and too hip and go back to what made you appealing in the first place: unique, well-thought out designs of high quality that had people asking me everyday, “Where’d you get that?”

I don’t need to buy AG, Rails, or whatever brand of the moment you’ve decided to carry at Anthropologie. In the last few years I’ve bought a few trendy items at Anthro but I’d give them all back if it somehow led you to believe your customers come to you for that! Most of your tops are too boxy and shapeless, and many are short to boot. Your dresses are by and large sacks of increasingly low quality. Even your Pilcro brand which was a highlight is tumbling downward in quality while the price now matches many designer brands — designer brands that by and large have superior quality which allows them to command three-digit price points.

Your accessories and shoes are two highlight categories, however it’s very hard to find most of those products in-store. In fact these days it’s hard to find A LOT of your products in-store because they’re online only, and many of those online only items are the items that at least seem to hold the most promise of old Anthro.

I’m so sad to see store space that could have been used for all your online-only clothing or shoe items lost to categories I could not care less about like beauty and fragrance. At least have a beauty specialist on-duty if you’re going to carry these things in stores.
On top of it all, the stores have lost their sense of wandering beauty that made me happily spend extended lunch breaks there. There is no sense of outfits, something beautiful waiting to be discovered, or that a hidden gem is just over on the next rack waiting to be found.

If you think me to be some customer who wants everything to stay the same and can’t accept change, let me tell you that is not it at all. I happily discover new brands and retailers each year and have created a wardrobe built on modern classics with trends worked in each year. I’ve enjoyed transformations that your sister store Free People has undergone for example — yet while their story changes every year the underlying theme remains consistent, making it a fun journey to be on with them! What saddens me is I thought Anthropologie would be the one store I could always turn to. You used to get tens of thousands of dollars from me each year, this year I doubt I’ve spent $1,000 with you.

I am still rooting for you Anthropologie, but I can’t justify spending much there right now. Not only do the designs not resonate with me…they’re clearly not resonating with most customers either. I don’t know who you’re trying to appeal to, but you’re doing a good job of alienating many.”

If you’ve completed the survey I’d love to know what you said, and your feedback on any and all of the above questions. To get 20% off your next full price purchase use the code NGX0917GRT at checkout.

Here are 7 items I bought at Anthropologie for NYFW that I like and recommend (note: I typically overbuy for fashion week and then return whatever I don’t wear):
1 – Strappy Colorblock Cami ($58) — I thought this looked a bit ugly online but in real life it’s actually quite beautiful! Made of hammered silk in a beautiful medium blue, the top has sheer gauze straps that are not nearly as opaque as they look online. The overall look is ethereal and beautiful. I took a medium.

2 – Interlocked Drop Earrings ($38) — Large yet lightweight, these oversized earrings look terrific with a boho top, which is just how I wore them to the Desigual show yesterday (pics upcoming).

3 – Estelle Plaid Tank (now $40 + 25% off) — The survey code won’t work on this sale top, but you still get an extra 25% off thanks to a sale promo. The top is quite wide which is fashion week perfect, and for normal wear it looks great over wide-leg jeans with a long cardigan. Pics upcoming! I bought a medium because it was the smallest size I could find in-store, but a small would have been my preference.

4 – Fluttered Tunic Dress ($168) — A swingy and fun dress! I love the ruffle sleeves and mirror accents around the neckine. Unfortunately the body of the dress runs large while the sleeves run very tight around the upper arms; I ended up in a large.

5 – Asymmetrical Turtleneck Dress ($148) — Figure-flattering with a striking pattern, my only complaint is that the pattern of the dress doesn’t line up at either side-seam. Le sigh Anthropologie! Quality control issue right there. This dress is very stretchy, so I took my usual medium even though I often size up when a dress is quite form-fitting like this one.

6 & 7 – Draped Off-The-Shoulder Pullover ($98) — I’ve been eyeing this sweater for a few weeks now, so I was delighted to pick it up when I found it in-store. The material is lightweight but comfy, no itch factor here. Because I have broader shoulders I found I needed a size large to achieve the one-shoulder effect shown in the product shot. And because I’m a sucker for good styling, I also bought the Alexiou Drop Earrings ($54) shown with the neutral color of the sweater online.


  1. klj1
    September 8, 2017 / 10:21 am

    Yes to everything you said. :-)I pretty much said the same things. Still rooting too..sigh. Now lets hope they do something this time with the information!

    • September 8, 2017 / 10:27 am

      Crossing my fingers and toes!

    • Nam
      September 8, 2017 / 12:29 pm

      I second that klj1 and Roxy

  2. Debby
    September 8, 2017 / 10:24 am

    My survey was only about dresses at Anthro – nothing about home or cosmetics or anything else. I mainly buy dresses there, so it seems to be profiled for the survey taker.

    • September 8, 2017 / 10:27 am

      Interesting, not the same for everyone then.

    • Maya
      September 8, 2017 / 12:29 pm

      Same here. My survey was also only about dresses.

      • Shari
        September 8, 2017 / 1:18 pm

        I got the dress one too.

    • Kate
      September 8, 2017 / 1:39 pm

      Yup, I too got the dress survey.

    • Sara
      September 10, 2017 / 1:14 pm

      Mine was only about dresses too! Interesting…

  3. Lindinha
    September 8, 2017 / 11:03 am

    Thanks for sharing your results with us!

    My responses were fairly the same as yours. Anthro has a lot of competition and they need to know. I told them to bring back the designer collabs, outreach and vintage capsules.
    I'm being tempted by soo many brands (Macy's Inc just did a collab with Anna Sui ❤️), HM Studio for Fall is impressive and so Anthro will have to work hard for my money.

    I love what they are doing in Furniture and Textiles! But the current price-point and shipping costs are just too much.

    • September 8, 2017 / 11:17 am

      That's great feedback Lindinha. I miss the capsules too!

  4. rok
    September 8, 2017 / 11:12 am

    Mine was also very different from your survey

    • September 8, 2017 / 11:17 am

      Interesting, what was yours about rok?

  5. Sara
    September 8, 2017 / 11:17 am

    Survey I got was only about dresses (too). At the end there was a comment box in which I stated much the same, except it was brief & blunt. Glad others can elaborate!

    • September 8, 2017 / 12:23 pm

      Either way, brief or not, thank you for sharing the feedback I know many of us want Anthro to hear!! ?

  6. Anon
    September 8, 2017 / 11:34 am

    Roxy, I wish they would hire you!! I'm encouraged that they are asking for feedback and pray they actually make the changes you suggested. Fingers crossed!

    • September 8, 2017 / 12:24 pm

      Who knows what the future holds? I would be delighted to work with them via my company.

  7. Eina
    September 8, 2017 / 11:50 am

    Roxy, you speak from my heart and head. I never did get a survey, but to be honest, I've filled out so many from Anthro over the years and nothing got better, so I feel like they only send it to give me the illusion I have control over their products.

    Are you sure the Strappy Colorblock Cami is silk, not polyester like in the description? It is very pretty.

    • September 8, 2017 / 12:24 pm

      No I am not sure Eina, sorry to mislead! I will check when I am back home but most likely it's hammered poly, not silk. Thanks for catching my error!

    • September 8, 2017 / 1:06 pm

      This! I fill out the survey every time they offer it and try to provide as much detail as Roxy did (while also trying to remain respectable, fair, and polite to whomever reads the responses, *lol*), but year after year I'm still desperately seeking a new-and-improved Anthro. :*( I'm not doing it this time only because I have the 'educator' discount, which gives me the same 20% discount already.

  8. Barbara
    September 8, 2017 / 12:08 pm

    As per usual, I never got a survey let alone ANY promotional emails from Anthro even though I have tried to get back on their email list a bazillion times! I would have said the same things, and I appreciate all your comments to them, Roxy! The one thing I worry about, and it happens a lot, is that people praise Free People so much that I believe Anthro has tried to make their apparel more like Free People. Those clothes to me are too, young, too trendy and kind of fantastical. Let's focus on Anthro trying to find what made them great in the first place!

    • September 8, 2017 / 12:25 pm

      So true. Good points!

  9. Karen
    September 8, 2017 / 12:43 pm

    I got the same survey as Roxy, and had many of the same complaints. I tried to include as much about what I *do* want in my answers as what I don't like. I called out Boden as an example of better quality. I also rattled off a list of my favorite Anthro items from years past in the "styles I like" section. Here's hoping they listen!

    • September 8, 2017 / 1:18 pm

      Boden is a great comparison to use in terms of quality!

    • Jadzia
      September 8, 2017 / 6:35 pm

      Since you buy Boden, how is their sizing?True to size or does it tend to run large. I've been looking at the Jessica dress as my first purchase for them but not sure if I should go with a 4 or 6. Its not clear if their size chart actually matches the clothing.

      • Katrine
        September 8, 2017 / 8:51 pm

        I would say that Boden runs a bit large, but I usually don't have any problems as long as I follow the size chart. I'm usually a 12 or 14 in most stores and I typically do a 12 for Boden.

      • Karen
        September 9, 2017 / 8:06 pm

        I tend to take my usual size in dresses/skirts/jackets and size down one size in blouses at Boden.

  10. Aims2
    September 8, 2017 / 12:52 pm

    I received this too….but mine was similar to what Roxy received. I had so much to say and I truly hope the read these……It felt good to share my feelings and this gives me hope!!

    • September 8, 2017 / 1:18 pm

      Me too.

  11. Jess
    September 8, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    I received mine yesterday and I filled it out giving them a piece of my mind of how they need to look back in order to look ahead because clearly they've virtually lost their identity. I also went on about quality, sizing issues and how women want to show off their shapes and don't always want to dress in a tent (though some tent dresses can be okay just not so many need to be for sale on the site all the time sheesh!).

    I really do feel like it's wishful thinking because they didn't really listen to what we've been saying all these years so it might be a futile attempt at pacifying their disappointed customers but I did appreciate the coupon:)

    • September 8, 2017 / 1:19 pm

      I didn't even think to address sizing issues but that's another huge problem they're having — glad you did Jess!

      • Aims2
        September 8, 2017 / 1:43 pm

        Yes, sizing is a huge issue. I mentioned this too, and why having free returns should be available or making ship-to-store available in all stores.

    • Karen
      September 8, 2017 / 3:34 pm

      I complained about sizing inconsistency, too. Drives me mad!

  12. Ann
    September 8, 2017 / 1:29 pm

    Roxy, you are so on point. I said exactly the same thing. I also mentioned that they have too many clothes and too many online items only. Nothing is unique or different. The 'hide the body' style is not what Anthro was all about. Sad. I'm still buying a few things but they tend to be online exclusives. I just bought this moto jacket that I'm really liking. It's lined and a great quality. https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/freya-ruffled-

  13. Anthropolitan
    September 8, 2017 / 2:05 pm

    Didn't get one this time, which is odd because I usually do. But you all have said it all for me. I'm hoping they listen this time. As others have said, the surveys have been going out for years now and things just keep on getting worse.

  14. Leah G.
    September 8, 2017 / 2:39 pm

    Thank you for posting this. I have not spent any money at Anthro this year. I've been relying on Stitch Fix to fill my wardrobe needs.

  15. Laura
    September 8, 2017 / 3:08 pm

    I got the dresses one, too, and I was really impressed by the detail in the questions. They asked for the ideal length, the ideal fit, the ideal sleeve length, material, etc. I love dresses, but I'm not going to buy one that's too short or not special/overpriced, so I appreciate that they seem to be recognizing the dresses category could use some improvement.

    I reiterated the need for knee length dresses to be work appropriate, that I personally like swingy dresses as long as they are special looking, and the importance of fabric. Oh and definitely mentioned how much I hate this need to be trendy vs pretty..

  16. Stacy
    September 8, 2017 / 3:44 pm

    I used to think I was the only one with all of the gripes you mentioned – and even more! I also brought up things like when you order something online and return it to make sure the emailed return confirmation is correct. If you got a price adjustment after purchase, your refund amount should show what you're getting refunded not what you originally paid!' Also, I wish I would have remembered to bring up reviews. Am I the only one who has noticed items having reviews that all of a sudden seem to disappear?! I rely on those especially for online exclusive items! I mean, like none left! Two kudos- one is for letting customers initiate a return online and print the corresponding documents. The other – yay for free shipping! Although I feel the threshold is a little high. And they'll do even better when they realize free returns would be very good. This is especially important for me because I currently live 3 hours from a store and too many items are online only anyway so it's the only way to try them. I touched on ALL the other things you mentioned. I hope they listen because if they make these very logical changes, I will love Anthropologie so much again!!

  17. Sara
    September 8, 2017 / 4:30 pm

    I got the same survey you had Roxy and my answers were very similar to yours. If so many customers are giving them the same feedback you would think they might listen. I would be so excited to have the old Anthro re-surface! Fingers crossed!

  18. evb
    September 8, 2017 / 4:54 pm

    I got the same survey as Roxy, but I didn't write any comments. Couldn't be bothered anymore, frankly. Boden is getting all my money these days though there are some cute fall things at Anthro. I also love the home stuff and some of the accessories. Today I am wearing Anthro shoes, reading glasses, sunglasses and earrings so I'm not totally anti-Anthro but it seems every single piece of clothing I buy I end up returning.

  19. Denise_S
    September 8, 2017 / 5:15 pm

    I didn't get a survey, but thanks for sharing the code! I used it on the Marabella Velvet Top and the Pintucked Lace Tunic. I do still find things I like but not nearly as often as in the past. I find so much of what they offered this spring/summer in particular to be "fillers." It's like they needed to fill out the website with something and wound up with a lot of bland, nondescript pieces, the only twists being things like giant puffy sleeves or those ubiquitous cold shoulder looks. I see the new arrivals section is beginning to fill up with coats and jackets, and there are faux FUR scarves showing up in accessories!

  20. Amelia
    September 8, 2017 / 6:42 pm

    I actually received two surveys!? One was the same as Roxie's, Anthropologie brand questions, and the second was about MY personal style and what I'm looking for… which was refreshing!! I let them have it! But also begged to have old Anthropologie back!

  21. Marissa
    September 8, 2017 / 7:21 pm

    I also got the survey about personal style. I'm surprised I got any survey–I've been writing reviews about poor quality and returned items lately, and they won't publish them. I figured they don't want to hear what I have to say! 🙂
    Mostly, I mentioned poor quality, rising prices, and lack of unique pieces that originally drew me to Anthro. I used to think of their clothing as wearable art, but now it's a lot of poor quality trends. I don't expect much to change, but I do appreciate the opportunity to share my opinion. Other retailers don't do that.

    • Anthropolitan
      September 9, 2017 / 8:36 am

      re: your reviews not getting published : Maybe it's not so much that Anthro doesn't want to hear what you have to say, but that they don't want the rest of us to hear what you have to say. '-)

  22. Katie
    September 8, 2017 / 7:39 pm

    One thing I really miss is the wishlist functionality. I used to check my wishlist several times a day for popbacks, and snagged some amazing deals over the years. When Anthro deleted most items from the wish-lists it reallycut down my shopping / interest. I don't like the registry feature as much and I'm sad that none of those older items from bygone days will ever pop back for me again. I'm sure Anthro couldn't care less since this wasn't a big money maker for them, but it definitely changed me from a very regular loyal shopper into a much more occasional one.

    • skr
      September 12, 2017 / 12:47 pm

      I mentioned the wishlist issues in my open ended comment box… I called their current wishlist functionality "infuriating" 😉 LOL

  23. Stefanie
    September 9, 2017 / 8:43 am

    I pretty much made all the same comments and I told them to bring back specific labels: girls from savoy, odille, bluebird, Guinevere, etc. told them the styles we want the fabrics we want.
    We'll see if they listen

    • Barbara
      September 9, 2017 / 11:41 am

      Wow, what gorgeous clothes! I want everything from that catalog!

      • Cindy
        September 9, 2017 / 1:51 pm

        Me too

    • Melodie
      September 9, 2017 / 1:55 pm

      Wonderful, wonderful looks and styling! I doubt that we will ever see that type of styling from Anthropologie ever again! Seriously, they want to be Forever 21 with super high prices! Everyone knows that Forever 21, H&M, etc. sell cheap and poor quality clothing that doesn't last. I don't know why they want to model themselves after that. NEWSFLASH: $300 polyester, acrylic blend something and boxy clothing does not excite me! I have absolutely no confidence that they will turn things around!

    • klj1
      September 10, 2017 / 12:35 pm

      Yes. Literally EVERYTHING. I miss this so so much.

    • September 11, 2017 / 10:46 am

      That stuff is all so lovely!!

  24. Stephanie
    September 9, 2017 / 12:11 pm

    Does anyone know if the code can be used several times or just one time per customer? Thanks.

    • Denise_S
      September 9, 2017 / 1:14 pm

      Maybe. I used it yesterday, and just now I tried it in my basket up to checkout and the discount still shows. However, it has happened before where the discount appears at checkout, but when you get your confirmation, the discount has been removed. But I would say that it is likely that you can use it more than once.

      • Stephanie
        September 9, 2017 / 1:30 pm

        Thanks Denise

    • Denise_S
      September 10, 2017 / 12:55 pm

      Confirmed that it CAN be used more than once.

  25. Sarah
    September 9, 2017 / 7:13 pm

    Has anyone seen the Isola Pullover by Knitted and Knotted in stores? Gets good reviews so I was thinking about ordering it.

  26. Denise_S
    September 10, 2017 / 12:56 pm

    Roxy, how long is the survey code good for? TIA

    • Becky
      September 10, 2017 / 2:38 pm

      Good thru 9/18

      • Denise_S
        September 10, 2017 / 3:29 pm

        Thank You!

  27. Magnolia
    September 10, 2017 / 2:23 pm

    Also, their clothes are so often 20% off for some reason or the other. Why can't they just permanently bring down their prices atleast 20% instead of these fake sales where we everything is already so overpriced for what it is that 20% is hardly a discount.

    • Lori
      September 10, 2017 / 4:18 pm

      I agree, since they offer 20% off so often now, and their prices are easily 20% more than they used to be I never buy anything without some % off.

  28. Magnolia
    September 10, 2017 / 2:24 pm

    Did anyone get the Sita Tulle skirt? Its looking really lovely and running out in petite sizes. Id like to get one if it is really as pretty as it seems.

  29. Christina
    September 11, 2017 / 4:23 am

    I got the same survey as Roxy, and I concur wholeheartedly with what you ladies are saying! Also, in case anyone is interested, Anthro seems to have new markdowns.

    • September 11, 2017 / 8:31 am

      I will have a post up for the sale in a couple of hours!

  30. Joanna Y.
    September 11, 2017 / 9:16 pm

    Not much more to add to what y'all wrote other than I emphasized also the joy I used to have, but not it's expectations that I likely will leave the store with nothing. Also emphasized work-appropriateness, and then even though I'm high-waisted (& so maybe could "get away" with more cropped tops than the average person), I have zero intention to show my belly to anyone, under any setting, so that still rules out most of their tops. sTresed need for fit. and trying to push having shoes in stores (& not beauty, like Roxy said). *Crossing my fingers something changes* now going to use my discount on maybe some shoes!

  31. Linda
    September 22, 2017 / 4:26 pm

    I haven't shopped at Anthropologie for about four years due to a buying a house. I went cold turkey from shopping. I now have some $$ I can spend. I recently checked out their website and it is not the same Anthro I left. What happened??!! When did this start changing?

    • September 22, 2017 / 4:35 pm

      Congrats on the house!! So many changes, where to even begin? I can best summarize it by saying that Anthropologie changed leadership, from CEO to design heads, and is trying to target a different customer than they used to. Believe me, we're all lamenting it here!

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