Taking a look into the abyss with Anthropologie.
After years of threats, it’s finally happened: Anthropologie has updated its return policy as of July 9, 2018. Goodbye to an unlimited return window and hello to 60 day return windows. What does this policy shift mean for Anthropologie, and why are Anthro lovers upset by this change? It’s complicated.
Anthropologie is not alone in making changes to its return policy. L. L. Bean dropped its unlimited item guarantee in February because of a changing retail environment (here’s the official company statement on the change); Nordstrom is now limiting returns for some customers; Amazon has been accused of blacklisting customers who return too much…for consumer-facing companies, these policies don’t exactly feel consumer-friendly.
What exactly is going on to make retailers feel suddenly stingy? So many factors. Let’s look at the larger picture first.
THE BIG PICTURE
Firstly, we’re in an age of rapid transition in the apparel/accessories world. There are the old school retailers who design collections, send the designs out for production which takes a few to several months, and then have the items on their retail floors/website for a season. Meanwhile, newer companies are cutting down the timeline of this cycle. Zara for example can take an idea from design to store/website in about 4-6 weeks, less than 1/2 the time of the traditional retail production cycle.
Secondly, there are more apparel and accessories retailers than ever. It’s an increasingly competitive market fueled by an ever-lower cost of entry. Brands can now launch as online-only ideas, reach the world from the comfort of their laptops and wait to lease brick and mortar stores until their concept is proven.
Thirdly, not only are there more stores than ever, it’s also a race to either the bottom or the top of the pricing structure. The vast majority of consumers are offered clothing at lower and lower prices, with the most frequent product refreshes we’ve ever seen. Meanwhile at the luxury end brands inflate prices seemingly without reason, leading to a polarization of the retail realm. Stores in the middle are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Raising their prices too much alienates customers; cutting their prices to meet low-end stores hurts profits and creates a race to the bottom.
The fashion world has created its own monster. In the early 1990s, fueled by dropping production and sourcing costs as the global supply chain geared up, retailers realized they could make their clothing, shoes, jewelry, whatever, for cheaper than ever. Some marketing geniuses came up with the great idea to make fashion an everyday necessity rather than a seasonal investment. Clothing catalogues went from being a semi-annual tradition to a quarterly proposition, and then a monthly tease. Over a short period of time clothing went from being something you bought twice a year to once a season to something you could buy every week or every day if you liked.
Like Atlas struggling to hold up the world or the snake eating its tail, the retail world is now collapsing upon itself. When clothing prices began dropping to make buying something new every week seem almost reasonable to consumers, shoppers celebrated by buying, buying, buying. But as science has shown us, what at first is novel quickly becomes habitual, and eventually, boring. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, fueled by the USA’s strongest economy since WWII and purchasing power not seen in generations, the fashion world thrived under comfortable discretionary spending by consumers flush with cash, opportunity, and desire. A generation ago people on average bought about 250 pieces of clothing in their adult lifetime. Today? The average adult buys 50 pieces of new clothing each year.
However, like any strong growth market, at some point consolidation has to happen. Making clothing became cheaper in the 1990s because USA-based stores began moving the sourcing of products like cotton, wool, polyester and such out of the USA and into cheaper countries like Vietnam, China, Australia and India. Production and manufacturing was moved to Canada, Mexico, China and the Philippines.
At first these cost savings were huge for retailers. With time though, once most of the sourcing (farms or clothing-based poly producers) and production (factories) were closed here in the USA, this allowed the foreign markets to begin raising their prices. By about 2009 the foreign producers were charging the same, if not more, than their former USA counterparts had been. This ate into retailer profits. Retailers, in turn, began seeking out new and less expensive materials (helllooooo, rayon) to protect as much of their profit margins as they could.
And thus began our descent into crappy clothing quality, a paradigm that’s become so normal to us that America disposes of over 14 million tons of clothing each year, more than double the rate of 20 years ago. Yikes. We simply wear clothing for a year or less and then get rid of it, knowing there will be plenty more to choose from.
You’d think customers getting rid of clothing faster and faster would help retailer profits, but it actually hurt profits. Why? Because over time customers have become so frustrated with crappy product quality that they’ve either 1- started saving up for more expensive, better-quality clothing, buying fewer items overall or 2 – reduced their purchases because they’re so turned off and making due with the overstuffed closets they already have.
And so the cycle of growth is ending and retailers are suffering. It’s partly because of the slight contraction of the USA economy (a contraction which has now ended and returned to growth) but more so because at the end of the day, people can only buy so much clothing. Consumers are tired. Each new generation brings a new zeitgeist and clothing is not as interesting to Millennials as experiences are. In addition, while Millennials are a large generation comparable to the size of the Baby Boomer generation, the generations following Millennials are much smaller overall. Since clothing and accessory retailers seem to inexplicably focus on customers in their teens and twenties, this shrinking market presents a real problem to future growth.
In the face of shrinking margins and profits, existing retailers, instead of coming up with new ideas or following growth patterns that served them well in previous contractions, are becoming more homogeneous. They are all becoming the same! Let’s be honest, can we really distinguish a J. Crew from an Anthropologie from a Nordstrom these days? Aside from small differences, these brands mostly all look the same. And that’s awful.
New brands and stores are bringing in better quality materials, unique points of view, and addressing pieces of the market (plus size, petites, maternity, etc.) better than existing retailers. All of these factors are combining at a large scale to terrorize existing clothing and accessories retailers.
THE SMALL PICTURE
If that’s the larger picture, how do we tie this all back into Anthropologie and its new return policy? I’ll summarize.
1. Anthropologie was once known for its high quality products with a unique point of view.
2. The highly stylized, class of the field customer experience was one of the keys to Anthropologie’s success.
3. In a high-growth period from 2006-2009, Anthropologie decided to pivot its strategy to continue growing its customer base.
4. Anthropologie turned away from its vintage, handmade-like, Victorian-inspired, city girl chic, classic pieces with a twist combination to become more ‘hip’ in a play to attract younger customers.
5. Anthropologie began sourcing its in-house design materials from lower-quality production houses while simultaneously raising prices.
6. Increasingly, Anthropologie’s offerings became trendy and homogeneous with other retailers rather than unique and trend-bucking. The average product price rose by over $10 between 2012-2017.
7. Quality became a real issue for Anthropologie. It becomes ever more common to find sizing inconsistencies, buttons not sewn on well, garments not assembled correctly, and other quality issues.
8. The customer experience slipped greatly at Anthropologie.
9. Returns go way up.
10. Anthropologie changes its return policy, citing greater market forces. (Uh-huh. ?)
Basically, those ‘greater market forces’ of cheap quality, homogeneity, and disposable fast fashion collided with Anthropologie’s trendy takes, quality issues and declining customer service. Like an asteroid smashing into a planet, a huge chunk of what makes Anthropologie so special has been taken away: its unlimited product guarantee, aka its once-generous return policy.
Is 60 days a long enough return window? I don’t believe it is, especially considering how far ahead of the weather traditional clothing and shoe retail tends to be. Ninety days seems more appropriate.
WHY UNLIMITED RETURNS OR AN UNCONDITIONAL GUARANTEE MATTER
1. It inspires customer confidence in the product.
2. Consumers are more likely to have a positive view and recommend retailers that unconditionally stand behind products.
3. Customer satisfaction is higher.
THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE CUSTOMER
No change exists in a vacuum. Tough as Anthropologie’s new return policy is to digest, they don’t deserve the entire blame for making a change. Here’s another piece of how retailers got themselves into a pickle.
In 2009, I was helping a friend of mine who worked as a costume designer on a well-known TV show. One of her favorite stores to source from was Anthropologie, naturally. I was very surprised when we headed up to the cash wrap, the manager logged everything we were taking, and then my friend paid exactly $0 for over $5,000 worth of product.
She explained to me later that certain shows or networks, as well as certain actors or actresses, would often borrow items for a one-time use, and then return the loaned items, tags still attached back to the stores for sale after a few days or a few weeks. The exposure, she explained, could help an item sell out entirely.
It sounds so naive now but at the time this was mind-blowing to me. I truly had no idea that famous people were often being gifted clothing or other items for free in the hopes that they’d wear it and cause the item to become more popular. I had no idea that fashion magazines, bloggers and such would borrow clothing and then return it after events.
Now the practice is so commonplace but something strange has happened. While once only a very small fraction of famous (or ‘famous’) people wore entirely new clothing each and every day, now the advent of Instagram, Snapchat and the like has made the practice commonplace. This is why I take such long breaks from my Instagram account — I see no need to buy new clothing every single day. However, I still probably buy much more than the average person. Long breaks are the best way I’ve found so far to balance it out. The prevailing theory in social media, fashionwise, seems to be that you need to show something new each day. Remixing items on rare occasions is acceptable but it’s expected that each season your closet will get a total refresh.
Even if my personal wealth allowed this kind of maximalism spending, at some point it just feels ridiculous. No one needs to have that much! I can’t think of a single reason why you’d need to own a new outfit for each day of the year. Even Princess Kate recycles outfits!
WEAR IT, THEN RETURN IT
I am sure most consumers realize this too, but the drive to show off a pretty new outfit for every occasion is strong. And so a growing practice among consumers is to buy something, wear it once with the tags on, and then return it.
This practice happens across all walks of life, from the extremely rich to the barely scraping by. I won’t argue the ethics of it here but suffice it to say that retailers have become wise to the practice and are fighting back against it by limiting their return policies.
From this angle, Anthropologie’s changes kind of make sense. No retailer wants to be responsible for selling gently used clothing as new. Is it kind of hypocritical to continue lending out clothing to actresses or bloggers while the consumer has to pay? Completely. I don’t even have a conclusion sentence to reconcile the hypocrisy!
All I can say is that we have a massive storm that is one part crappy quality, one part poor customer service/experience, one part ethically questionable consumers, one part fed up consumers and it all adds up to the death of unconditional guarantees.
On the other hand, I’ve had a Céline Nano purse for about 5 years now. One side of the strap has worn down over the years. All I had to do was take the bag to a Céline store in Manhattan and they sent it off to be repaired, gratis. No charge. Not because I’m an influencer or anything like that. (I’m sure they had no clue that I blog.) Because Céline wants their products looking good out in the world to inspire the lust to buy among others. And so its customers feel proud to wear their pieces. I do — I love that Nano so, so much!! It’s still a favorite bag of mine years after buying it with a work bonus.
This is a factor Anthropologie has completely lost the plot on. Some of my oldest Anthropologie pieces still inspire this pride and happiness in me. My Ferrous Flower Sheath? You know I love it!! But it’s hard for me to think of an item after 2013 or 2014 that inspires that kind of love and devotion. Anthropologie has really lost its magic.
- They don’t make curve-friendly items anymore.
- Most of their dresses are too small in the bust now and lack the overall adjustability that made them universally flattering.
- Their tops are often too short.
- There’s generally wayyyyyyyy too much product and not nearly enough outfits.
- Their clothing is too trendy and ‘out there.’
- The seasonal collections lack any cohesion, color palette or unifying element.
- Prices are trending upwards while quality has fallen into a chasm.
- Anthropologie is trying to be too much to too many different types of customers.
I don’t think I spent $1,000 at Anthropologie last year — I used to spend over $10,000 a year there! I’ve probably barely cleared $500 there between price adjustments, returns and meh. I went to BHLDN to look for my wedding dress and was majorly disappointed by the lack of bust-friendly options. (Fodder for another post.)
All of this adds up to me generally feeling ambivalent about Anthropologie these days. I tried to hold out. I waited about 2 or 3 years to see if they’d turn it around! And now? I’m still looking because I love discussing the store here, but I’m hardly buying. So go ahead Anthro, change your return policy. It’s one more nail in the coffin for me.
Et tu, communitie?
Hi ladies! So sorry this post is SO LATE. I was on vacation last week into yesterday (biking/hiking/camping/visiting friends!) and this post was scheduled to go live but my scheduler broke. Here it is now!! I'll be catching up on comments tonight.
Also, who's shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale today? I picked up a few things during this cardholder preview. Full post upcoming.
|| This knit blazer will be great for work.
|| I already own these leggings but wanted to highlight them — they also come in a non-moto version.
|| I love the color of this wrap blouse and in colder weather I think it will look great under a sleeveless shell.
|| SUPER EXCITED to receive this long plaid coat!
|| I love the asymmetrical button pattern on this blouse.
|| Praying my calves will fit into these boots!
|| This eye and cheek palette has me excited.
How about you?
I purchased a few things (the plaid dress in the catalogue is one) but when I came home and looked to purchase more, a bunch of items were already sold out. I know they pop back from time to time and often restock when it goes live for the public.
Yes I'm hoping for some restocks too, as my success rate is about 80% with the sale so I expect to make some returns.
Got my first order and the leith sock booties (in black $69) and the Lewitt check asymmetrical dress are winners. I did not think I would like the dress when I took it out of the box but on it is really cute. I may not purchase the coat you like but not sure about the raw edges. it is cute though.
Will you still be doing anthropolgie posts? I miss seeing them
I wonder the same! I also wonder…. who hast taken the plunge AND bold enough to ask for a PA?!
I have been wondering the same!! I purchased some things right before the 40% off sale but, I don't deal well with rejection 😉 so I haven't worked up the nerve to ask!
I just realized I replied to my own post! Oh boy—
I don't buy much from them anymore (at least not on a regular basis like I used to), so nothing to ask for a PA for anyway.
Not answering for Roxy, but I think she was sending a pretty clear message when she took Anthro's name off her blog name haha
I know I'm late to the conversation but my biggest issues with Anthro are the "free shipping 150+" so not free… And the quality. I live by two Anthro stores and even when I was an hour away I still went on weekends. But the quality has gotten so bad and online sizing is so crap its making me go in once a month at most now and only to shop the sale section.
The issue with clothing being worn once is not really new actually its pretty old. In Victorian England upper class women would buy a season of dresses (90 day evening riding morning etc) handmade one of a kind dresses at one time. This cost a modern day equivilant of 400,000 usd on average. When Victoria announced her engagement to Albert in 1839 she was denied the income of 40,000 gbp per annum she expected him to get from parliament bc they didn't like Albert (and their shared uncle who was king of the Belgians and had been married to the previous heir to the throne of England – they were still paying him an income and thought they couldn't afford to give Albert the same amount so they offered him half that, which insulted her authority) so she made a show of buying a 91st dress that season… A white wedding gown to be worn only once. White was a sign of wealth bc it was such a filthy time, so to own a gown just for her wedding day was a huge statement. To have it dripping in lace ( a single row of which could be the same cost as a ship) diamonds and pearls was just a way to make parliament remember she was the Queen and it was a total diva move. Years after that wealthy heiresses copied her "one white extravagant wedding dress rule" to show off their power and wealth and prestige too… And that's why wedding gowns are white today. Politics.
Anyway my point being even in the 1940s one would not go to a dinner party or weekend in the country and be seen in the same outfit twice… It just wasn't done. The fact that lower incomes can now afford to live like the rich did 80 years ago is all that has really changed.
Thank you for this fantastic post Roxy! I wholeheartedly agree with you; Anthro has really lost its magic and I miss all the lovely and wonderful clothing they had years ago. You mentioned tracking returns with other retailers – any idea of Anthro is doing this? I order a lot online primarily because I order petites which is limited in stores – but I end up returning 90% now and worry that they track things and eventually could be an issue for me.
Hi guest, yes Anthropologie is also using a third-party return tracking company. I forget the name at the moment but can probably dig that info up if you're curious. The main problem with these companies is that their software is very discrete, meaning hard, and has a difficult time dealing with situations like, say, a loyal customer who doesn't live near an Anthro, orders often, and returns 80% of her purchases not because she wants to but because there's something wrong with those orders (doesn't fit, wrong color, etc.).
I can't promise it won't be an issue for you but I do know Anthro is trying to better on this.
Yikes, thank you! In any case, I too am buying much less from Anthro and will be more cognizant of this possibility!
I got an email questioning why I returned two of four tops I ordered. It was troubling, especially as I order so little these days (and at a much higher price point elsewhere). The first was defective and along with the second, the colors were not as depicted on the website.
Don't they ever watch us shop in real stores where we (used to) take armloads of clothes, in multiple sizes, to try on and see if they fit and flatter??? Almost all of those go right back out on the rack too. Why should online ordering be any different?
I agree with what you've said. I used to be a regular Anthro customer but now I find their clothing is over-priced and cheaply made. So sad.
I couldn't agree more. I am one of those people who have just become disenchanted with clothing in general. Even at higher price points, there is no guarantee of quality. There is nothing more frustrating then purchasing and loving something – only to have it fall apart with normal wear/laundering. In all of 2018, I have purchased one tank top from Anthro. I am hoping the race to the bottom in the retail market reverses course at some point … *sigh* . Thanks as always for your thoughts.
Nice to hear from you iamjusterin!! 🙂
Agree – nice to see you pop back up. I too have purchased much less from anthro and much less overall. Hope you are well
This is an amazing piece! Thank you for all the research and thought you put into it. I hope it travels far into the ethernet (especially to Anthro corporate headquarters) and is read A LOT.
I worked at Anthropologie from 2005 until 2017. For a long time I absolutely loved the company, and in truth they were very good to me. They gave me opportunities and experiences I could never have imagined and respected my life skills (Anthro became a second career after retirement). I tried very hard not to see what happened, Even now I feel bad discussing it.
Let me add that the cast changed. Those wonderful people with great ideas and enthusiasm and "let's put on a show" attitude are pretty much all gone, some very unceremoniously. In a way that makes it easier to bear. It wasn't that the people changed, but that they changed the people.
Thank you for confirming my suspicion that the people who made Anthro so wonderful are mostly gone. It must've been very hard for you to witness. I've had that feeling for several years now, and visiting new stores I see windows and interiors that are fast approaching Forever 21 or any other mall store, including the music they play.
I'm glad that so many of the items I have are still holding up, and most aren't dated. A few were even ahead of the game by almost 8 years!
Thank you for all your work at Anthro, whatever it may have been!
Almisa, it is great to hear the employee perspective. Thank you for this! It is sad to know that so many of the people responsible for making Anthropologie fun to shop at are gone.
Wow, thanks for the insights. Roxy, this is a fabulous post, thanks for it, I was anticipating it!!!
Honestly, I’m not that bothered by the return policy. Ill just be way more picky and buy less. In the big scheme of things, its just clothes. Nothing life changing. I’m more bothered by the lack of consistency, late orders, order fulfillment and cancellations, lack of communication, ship to store fiascos, lost orders, etc. I’m currently waiting for a kimono that I ordered on 6/21 to arrive at the store for in store pick up. They haven’t cancelled it, and i’ve Ordered it two more times when it popped back in case my first order got cancelled. None of them have shipped. It’s just BAD customer service. BAD. When I place an order now i dot count on ever receiving it. What kind of business are they running that I feel that way?
This is where I'm at, too. There are a lot of things that bug me about Anthropologie these days – bad quality, bad designs, declining customer service – but the new return policy isn't one of them. As long as there is an exception for defects (which might not become evident until you wash or wear the item, which might happen past the 60 days if it's not in season yet), I think 60 days is a reasonable amount of time to decide whether you actually want to keep something. I know I'll be more mindful of what I buy going forward, and not buy things I don't need just because "one day" I might… but I don't think that's a bad thing.
Not life-changing, but maybe wardrobe-changing. =D lol.
Excellent post, Roxy.
I would like to add that once Glen Senk, Keith Johnson, and Johanna Uurasjärvi left, Anthropologie really lost its vision, or perhaps the remaining people's opinions were no longer considered. Right now it feels like there can't be any of the original designers left, and the new ones have no idea, or aren't allowed to create quality. Only a few buyers for furniture, shoes, and accessories seem to have the old Anthro magic.
It didn't help that they over-expanded, leaving all the best items as 'online only', which brings more rreturns due to size issues, etc.
I've placed some full priced orders over the last year, all basics with a twist, but only a fraction of what I used to order. Funny enough, several of my Leifsdottir items circa 2011-12 are totally in style right now, even more than when they were made.
A pair of trouser I got many years ago just ripped, and I will try to find them on eBay or Poshmark since none of the current stock fits me as well (and I love high-rise!)..
p.s. Please keep your old Anthro reviews available (and I wish the old comments were up too). I know you don't get anything out of them, but they really help when I try to track down the right size for me or my sis.
Just learned that Wendy Wurtzburger is now a consultant at http://roarandrabbit.com/bio/ and Johanna Uurasjärvi is the new Chief Design Officer at J.Crew, which surprises me as she started with 'more is more' Anne Pinkerton and her Leifsdottir designs are about as far as you can get from the preppy inspired look of J. Crew.
Oh yes the old reviews aren't going anywhere, don't worry!
Thank you for the inside into the fashion industry. To be honest I feel disenchanted as well, due to recent weight gain and unappealing offerings. I get excited from time to time, try clothes on but do not like how I look in them. Nowadays I shop at JCrew a lot more often than Anthro. JCrew is Canadian customer friendly and has clothes for the whole family so when shopping for 2 growing kids and husband I throw an item or two for myself. Though my closest JCrew store does not get any exciting new arrivals I can always find fitting advice on some blogs or on Instagram. Anthropologie does not have enough following to get same level of presence online.
It is interesting how quickly Anthropologie fell of the blogging radar. When I do see them doing influencer collabs these days they're mostly head-scratching. I saw them do ONE home collab where I thought they chose a perfect, on-brand influencer, but otherwise? There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it and it's another huge turnoff to me as a customer.
I've recently learned about 2 JCrew SAs that post reviews of the new arrivals on insta. One of them goes by the handle kristymayn and the other inawonderland5 – those reviews are exceptionally helpful. I wish Anthro endorsed SAs reviewing clothes online, sizing and fit are often tricky to get right when buying online and barely anything I like is available at the store. I'm also I'm a bit excited about the next JCrew roll out : https://www.instagram.com/kristymayn/
Yours seems to be the only Anthro blog left. And the exodus happened FAST. I only joined this site 4 or 5 years ago!
You are right, Anthropoloitan, they all just evaporated!
Thank you for this detailed post Roxy 🙂 As a long time loyal Anthro shopper I am another disenchanted fan that is disappointed in what Anthropologie has become…
I am sorry about the policy changes for all of us ladies who have to travel hours to go to an Anthro store. I have to drive 5 hours to my nearest store (8 hours for a better store) and only visit 3-4 times a year and usually do my returns then. This 60 day window changes that.
My last 5 purchases were all popbacks and I paid $8.95 or $10.95 shipping for each one including a pair of shoes. I am waiting for them to ship/be delivered but will not make it to a store in the next 60 days so will have to pay again to ship them back if they don't work for me 🙁
The shoe policy will definitely change my shoe shopping habits, actually all of my shopping online at Anthro will change from this policy unfortunately. I guess the silver lining is there isn't a lot I love at Anthropologie anymore so this will make it easier to pass up making an order and shop elsewhere. Anthro has lost the magic I fell in love with so many years ago…
Another name it's nice to see! Hi Wild Flower. I have a friend who lives within an hour of an Anthro store, but due to kid obligations it's hard for her to make to Anthro more than once every few months. She was racing to make returns before this new policy went into effect, and probably won't shop there anymore with all the sizing inconsistencies and issues with online orders she's had. It's too time-consuming for her now.
Roxy, can you clarify this point? I thought that previous purchases were covered by the old policy (grandfathered in) and purchases after July 9th were covered by the new policy.
Yes it says on the returns page on Anthro's site that purchases previous to July 9th are covered under the old return policy, so that's what I'm sticking with for now.
Hi Roxy! 🙂 I'm always checking in and love to read your posts! Wish I still felt the enthusiasm towards Anthropologie and miss the days of all the Anthro bloggers who were so helpful in reviewing items for those of us who couldn't see them in store.
I definitely understand your friend and trying to make returns. Ordering online wouldn't be a problem at all if sizing wasn't all over the place, quality issues, etc.
I am having a hard time hitting the $150 shipping threshold and am getting tired of paying expensive shipping for every order.
I'm hearing now that if I return several orders together by mail I will still be charged return shipping on each one? Hopefully someone who has returned several items together by mail can please clarify for me?
I can wait to return when I can make it to a store but I am not excited to get a gift card that I will have trouble spending…Sigh
Shopping online with Anthro is an expensive hassle these days unfortunately 🙁
On the bright side, I have found plenty to love with all the other brands you share here 🙂 Thanks for all you do!
Roxy, you ROCK! Thank you so much for taking the time to create this thoughtful and insightful post. I'm going to think about it for awhile.
There are a couple things I don't understand – I can't imagine that people wearing clothes with tags and then returning them is having that much of an impact on Anthro's profits. I think it's much more quality and lack of vision. I don't know what the brand is anymore, clothing-wise.
I do LOVE all the home goods and my house looks likes a combination of Anthro catalog and cabinet of curiousities (I need to streamline my life a bit). I'm disenheartened that they are getting rid of bedding and moving away from selling home goods, any info on that?
I think you're right evb regarding quality and lack of vision.
I had not heard about Anthro getting out of bedding and moving away from home goods!! Where did you hear this? That would be a huge surprise considering they launched a home wholesale capability recently.
They are not eliminating bedding completely Roxy, but I was told by an SA that it will not be offered in store. Only on line. Nordstrom is already carrying their bedding.
They are not removing bedding completely. They are just taking it out of all but a few select stores because they found it was not profitable as an in store item. – anthro associate
Oh! Thanks for clarifying that. I couldn't figure it out because I went to one store (Woodmere, OH) and all their bedding was 50% off but it wasn't in my local store.
I love their bedding displays and I love being able to feel all the fabrics and the weight of them. It definitely has made me purchase more quilts and duvets and shams than I ever thought I would as a "grown-up".
Both Cleveland stores will no longer have bedding, but Easton in Columbus is currently set to still carry it.
Thanks for the info Anon! I shop at Easton and Woodmere primarily.
Anon, I believe they are going to live to regret that decision. Online Only = More Returns. It is a known fact that human beings like and require a tactile experience when purchasing. I make a handmade product and people never buy it without touching it first. It's kind of interesting actually.
I agree with you Lou, I’ve always thought there should be at least a sample / swatch of each kind in store. Stores did have samples that were euro shams from some of the more classic sets (rivulets, Georgina, Toulouse, etc) for awhile, but if I had to guess they will probably do away with that as well since there will be no reason for it. It would be nice if they sold swatches online like they do for furniture and rugs. I always see customers returning because the coloring was just off or other similar reasonings.
Thank you for that clarification Anon and Lou!!
I bought a couch this year and I absolutely LOVE the quality. But, I bought it about $800 less than the normal price. The 50% ready to ship.
Did you order it online or see it in the store and place an order?
I am curious to see how things pan out over the next few months. I was just in the flagship store in Toronto and only saw 2 customers in the store. I understand why they have made some of the policy changes but I think it would have been smart to do that slowly over a period of time. I now feel I need to think very long and hard before buying anything at Anthro now which, unfortunately for them, translates into me buying nothing. By the time I get home and think about it, I realize that I don't really need it and don't rush back to get it. As for sale items, I am willing to wait and see if there is an extra percentage off even if I miss out altogether. There really is so little that is really special these days.
I will say the NYC stores have been crowded when I've been in there browsing. However outside of the city it's empty, I agree. I stopped by the Westport, CT Anthro & Co a couple of weeks ago and it was all product, no customers. The Danbury Fair Mall store (also in CT) is always empty but I blame that more on their incredibly poor product assortment there.
Short hills is always busy as was the store at the Grove. Oddly, my daughter (18/19) purchases more there than I do which leads me to believe they have completely lost perspective as to who their customer base is. College kids can wear flowy pants frequently but not something I can wear to work and how many pair do you need for the weekend. Oddly, she does not care for free people which seems now to appeal more to me.
Omg Shari I agree with you on Free People! I’ve ordered more from them lately than I have from Anthro! I almost feel like they are more versatile and unique and better quality than Anthro in the past few years. And I am a middle aged mom with two kids. Funny how Anthro seems younger these days.
This is such a great overview of all the issues involved! For me, the return policy change is also one more nail in the coffin (almost as bad as the great wish list debacle of a few years ago). If Anthro is no longer offering special designs OR great quality OR a guarantee, then what are they offering? There are so many retailers like Loft and Ann Taylor with cute clothes and constant promos—the quality may be sketchy, but so is Anthro’s, and at MUCH higher prices. What justifies those prices now?
I agree Katie, this strategy doesn't make sense for Anthropologie OR its customers.
This post is timely and on point. I had purchased a flat pack table from Anthro online and found it didn't work in the space I had intended. I returned it with all of the original packing to my local store. They were lovely when they explained to me that after this return, furniture could no longer be brought back. How is this feasible when a consumer cannot see the product before purchasing? I felt compelled to write a strong letter and still have not heard back from anyone at corporate. Anthro has lost its special quality, the attention to detail, quality and customer service has vanished! I have spent way less there then ever before. I am now seeking out other retailers to purchase from.
Yes Susan! I have stepped back from several potential Anthropologie furniture purchases because the reviewers (those brave souls!!) often report that the item doesn't look anything like the photo, or the finish was off, or some important detail had been changed between product photo and production. When you're thinking of paying, say, $6000 for an armoire PLUS a delivery fee and the delivery may or may not actually come up to your room/apartment, well, that's a huge issue!
How has Anthropologie not thought through this kind of important logistical stuff? I have an easy fix for this but to be honest I'm tired of giving away my strategical expertise to Anthro for free on this blog.
Oh don't get me started.
I returned a leather chair earlier this year because it was hard as a rock. I've been eyeing a leather couch from Anthro for three years now. Changed my mind after this chair experience. The leather quality was fabulous and it was well made but I'm not paying $1K+ to sit on a piece of plywood.
I have several Anthro chairs, one chair I have the fabric has worn through on the inside arm. It's 2.5 years old! I emailed Anthro and they said sorry, we only guarantee our furniture for a year.
Screw them! I mean seriously, furniture should last at least 20 years. A lifetime even, I have furniture in my house that was my grandmother's from the 1950's. I've been thinking about approaching them again because I can't believe they think that's acceptable. Not to mention, it's grandfathered in on their previous return policy so they should accept it as a return no problem.
The saddest part is it was one of their in house artist's designs and the fabric has wombats on it. Where the heck else am I going to find a wombat chair? I certainly can't patch the material so what to do?
I agree – we have a sectional from when we moved (like 18 years ago) and it is still going strong! And the fabric is washable so ever year, I take off the cushion covers, wash them and put them back on. Where am I going to get that staying power today? And a funky pattern too (greens/reds/golds – it was a local furniture store who we think contracted with the defunct this ends up manufacturer as the quality of it is insane).
Oh we used to have some this ends up furniture. That stuff lasted 20 + years! That said, my Mom still has the settee and chair that belonged to her Mom, they have to be at least 100 years old. We've had them re-caned and reupholstered but that was 20 years ago and they are still her living room furniture.
So I think it's obscene that Anthropologie thinks their furniture should only last a year. Disgusting.
I must say though that we upgraded our bed to a king and purchased a fabric head/foot board from anthro and do love it so there is some good there. Who knows if it will last but right now looks good.
Are you kidding??? I totally missed this?!!!!!!!!!! No returns on furniture?
I think it is no in store returns of furniture…..
Thanks for posting with all the info! I found out about this a couple of weeks ago and I've been anxiously awaiting your opinion. Also, the price adjustments are different now as well. I was told that now price adjustments will only be made on a original price item (that goes on sale within two weeks of your purchase) which knocks me out of that loop as I haven't paid full price for an Anthro item in YEARS. I believe 2007 was last time. I will say though that there is a sense of relief there because they had so many "Additional % off" that it limited my buying to items I just "had to have" rather than other pieces I just liked a lot. Although, I am with you on the quality issue that has prevailed the past years. VERY annoying to say the least. I would much rather pay more for quality.
That's right, I did forget to mention the price adjustment changes, so thank you for illuminating that point here Cheri T!
Almisa, thank you for your perspective, and Roxy, thank you for your narrative.
I don't mind the return policy, although I think it should be 90 days, not 60. It appears that what I do mind, A LOT, is the fact that Anthropologie has stolen the magic from me.
I discovered Anthro right after 9/11 when I was living in New York. After the terrorist attack, I literally found refuge in the Anthropologie on 5th Avenue around 16th St. I could not believe that such a magical, creative place existed. I spent hours in there after work and on my time off, looking at everything and buying things I really didn't need but LOVED. Later when I moved away, I found other Anthros and continued my love affair with the brand. My family laughed at me as my closets became filled with their clothing to the exclusion of anything else. I worked for them briefly in 2012 & 2013, and became even more enamored. And then 2014, and things started to change. I became confused about the merchandise and since then the brand has become so diluted that it barely resembles it's original concept. I wonder if it is because of the CEO who came into employment about that time? Maybe his focus was on expansion (i.e. Anthro & Co) and not being true to the brand and putting all the capital into the new, larger stores and neglecting the details of running the smaller ones?
In the past, Anthropologie had a subliminal effect on me – almost as if there was an invisible sign hanging on the door that read: "Secret Magic Exists Here. Please Come In". Now it appears it's just another store in the mall, and a really empty one at that. I wonder if the owners know or care?
I remain watchful, but not hopeful.
I agree Lou. Even my bosses would tease me about my Anthro lunch breaks (same store as you!). Now I'm back working in the Flatiron area again and I do drift into the store…but it's not the same. I HATE the renovations that they did there. They removed a beautiful, clearly original, rounded staircase with a beautiful banister and replaced it with an ugly, boxy, modern awfulness. (Do you remember the old gorgeous staircase??) They redid the fitting rooms, which used to be very stifling and hot, and made them darker yet WORSE. The Chelsea Market fitting rooms would have been a better style to emulate.
There's too much beauty at 5th Ave and not enough new stuff. I do like their large jewelry assortment, and I think the home mix is about right. Those are the highest compliments I can give.
Yes, Roxy, I DO remember that beautiful, grand staircase! I felt like I was descending into the Secret Garden waiting just for me when I walked down it! I don't like all the beauty focus either. It's not where I spend my Anthro money. I have to say I am a bit jealous that you are up in NYC; they have bigger stores and better selection than where I am south of you. But I am going to the Anthro & Co in DC tomorrow! Looking for Magic!! 🙂
And Roxy you are right, and I have to laugh remembering – they did have the absolute worst fitting rooms on the the planet – it was a sweatfest in there! But I would tough it out because it was worth it!!
Oh can I just add that this 52 Conversations roll-out is a bust. Everything is rayon. It's gross. Whose idea was it to "Forever21" Anthro?
Even the way they are presented is ridiculous. They don't understand patterns, color and layering anymore. These small ditsy prints serve as backgrounds for over the top accessories but they just present them on their own or with jeans.
I guess they're trying to switch the style of the brand? But why not come up with something new then?
Oh gosh I haven't seen that stuff yet but now I'm afraid to look. What's really sad to me is that so many other stores are emulating Anthro of yore and the only store missing out on this? Anthro. If you're gonna be trendy at least follow this one trend Anthropologie!!
Roxy, not to hijack the post but who would you say is emulating old Anthro successfully? I've transplanted to NYC post Anthro's must-discussed downfall and I want to know where I should go to find the famed old Anthro look discussed often so on your blog.
I want to know, too.
Sometimes I see items at Nordstrom Rack and similar stores that are fairly more like old Anthro than Anthro now.
Sundance seems to be doing a decent job! I have seen some lovely cardigans and dresses there that look like old Anthro 🙂
I second Sundance. Just got a new catalogue from them today, and so much loveliness!
Sundance but some of the new target roll outs are doing a decent job also. I have to say, I have never purchased as much at target as I have this year (and I buy items at all prices including high end). My favorite swimsuit this year is from target oddly as they now carry D/DD tops (I am a small D but older so like more coverage)
Some of my favorite purchases this year are from Target too and Old Navy!
Thank you Stefanie, Wild Flower, Anthropolitan and Shari!
Boden is another option 🙂 So sad we have to look elsewhere for our "Anthro" these days…
my problem is that i am petite…. before anthro carried P i was still able to find things that fit me in xs. Now even P can be big…some of these other brands carry either NO petites or very few. I spent too much time recently… 3 trips to anthro to get a couple of things….exchange one twice..and now i need to return items due to reviews saying it beeds/spoltches when washed and the other item, a sold out top, is out of such FRAGILE fabric that it is a matter of a few wears/washes before it is full of holes/snags. yuk!
I've been so disappointed with the fabric and cut too. I had been so excited to see those beautiful old patterns!
YES! And in the oddest shapes. I find that almost everything I like upon first glance is too short, too tight, or is just off on everything. I haven't seen a top or dress I've liked in months. My local store is pretty small, so the majority of my purchases are online and I return most of them immediately after I get them as I don't think the photos taken represents the items at all and there are rarely reviews for anything anymore. I think this is an area their marketing team should be working on if returns are an issue.
Home goods used to be my favorite part of Anthro, but honestly that is uninspiring as well. I can see an effort being made, but it's missing something special. I really wish this trend of faded Miami beach colors would go away. Hoping the Christmas season will bring back some cuteness in this area!
Yaaaassss. Ewe. I don't care that the prints are older if you stick it on a gross fabric top..it doesn't matter. DO ANOTHER ARCHIVAL COLLECTION ALREADY.
FYI not to hijack this returns post but it seems free people is having some difficulty too-i placed an order in-store for a dress last Friday-7 days ago-that still hasn’t shipped. It’s not backordered-stock is plentiful-so I called yesterday and was told it was being weighed for shipment and would ship last night…wake up this morning, no shipping notification. So I called again this morning to be told they are having a lot of shipping delays and it likely won’t ship until Monday and won’t be received within the 5-7 business days. She offered to waive the shipping but I didn’t pay shipping because I purchased it in-store so she gave me a free shipping coupon for a future order. I honestly don’t understand how it could take 7+ days to ship a stinkin dress.
I'm not surprised as all the backend stuff for Urban, FP and Anthropologie (including BHLDN and Terrain) was condensed under the same management system. Which makes sense, but when there are issues I'm sure they affect all the brands.
And what’s crazier? I am a 35 minute drive to the huge UO shipping location in Gap, PA. I wold have gladly driven there and picked up the dress ?
lolololol. Go there and tell them you're doing a Logistics audit!!
Hey there! I work at Anthro and you may want to make a small correction. Under the new policy you can absolutely still make returns after 60 days! Once that period is up, you'll receive a merchandise credit for the original selling price rather than a refund. It's not a loss for the customer but also helps us to cut down on people returning pants they've worn for years (which happens way more often than you'd think).
If the item originally purchased using a merchandise credit or a gift card, do we still get a refund at the original price for returns past 60days? Can you or anyone know about this?
I heard that after 60 days, we get merchandise credit for the original selling price; however, after 90 days, we will get merchandise credit at the current selling price. So if you bought something at $69.95, after 90 days, if it's $19.95, you will be receiving $19.95 back in merchandise credit rather than the $69.95 you paid for.
It does not state that anywhere. That was originally going to be the policy but they took out the 90 days. You will still get the original selling price. – Anthro employee
Can we still make returns after 60 days or Anthro will refuse them?
Yes you can still return after 60 days. As long as you have proof of purchase you get get a Merch card with the original amount that you paid.
Thank you! That’s a huge relief because the other rule was a bit unreasonable.
Oh another Jess here! Thank you so much for asking this specific question as I was away from my computer for a bit and I'm just catching up and I was just about to ask the same thing.
Can you tell us all what happened to their customer service call center?!? I haven’t called it much in the past 25 years, but I called it this weekend and was shocked at the decline. I spoke to two hoodlums, not the Anthro of old. What happened to our old friend, sniff sniff.
Hey, can I just thank all the Anthro employees who are chiming in and reading this blog. It's wonderful to know you are listening to our thoughts.
An interesting article in the Washington Post about where the Anthropologie focus is these days (anywhere but clothing):
Sorry it's the Washingtonian not the Washington Post.
Does anyone know where the 40 Anthro & Co. locations will be?
Seriously 40? That is a TON!!
This is a really great post, Roxy. Like Cheri in the comments, I am dismayed by the new price adjustment policy and find it to be very customer unfriendly.
Price adjustments should protect the customer from further reductions in price paid, for a stipulated amount of time after the purchase has been made. Every customer knows the frustration of having a product go on discount only days after the purchase has been made. Good companies know that they can build customer loyalty by offering buyers with an adjustment reflecting the newly discounted price. This should not apply only to full price items. I feel that if a customer makes a purchase and the item goes on additional sale several days later, the customer should get credited for the difference, regardless of whether the price at purchase was a sale price or not. Along with the declining quality of goods, this will definitely put me off of making more purchases at Anthro. No one wants to buy an item and have it go on further reduction only days later, but have no way of recouping that loss because it wasn't purchased at full price.
Agreed! It is the new price adjustment policy that puts me completely off. I have traditionally spent about $800 a month at Anthro and that will now be reduce to virtually nothing. Price adjustments kept me loyal because the bonus of getting these every so often (or very occasionally scoring something amazing that had been priced out) meant I didn't mind spending over the odds on full price merchandise. I will still pop in from time to time to say hello to the lovely SAs though.
Agree about the price adjustment policy. The return policy does not bother me much, but no PAs for sale merch that gets further discounted really stinks. Especially when you haven't even received an item ordered online.
Oddly, the price adjustment is just another thing as my tipping point was the decimation of wish lists (we now can create new ones, they destroyed our existing ones a few years ago). I work full time and would put the things I want on a with list to check availability price and honestly pop backs – they were really great at one time. Without notice, they basically destroyed them – eliminated all but 50 items and they were a random 50 (we had no notice to cull our own lists). Bottom line. If they care so little about customers and things that they have spent time putting together, then I have lost interest. And it is a good thing. I now shop at other retailers and in general shop a good deal less.
Yes, good point!
I said this before, but no regular shoppers are going to want to buy full price now, knowing that it could go to 20% off the following weekend and no price adjustment will be given. That is super bad form, Anthropologie! You really will train your customer base to never buy full price and you will build up a lot of ill will!
I agree the PA change is more of a deterrent than the return change. I just purchased a few sale items and the very next day they were an additional 25% off. They had not even shipped out. I contacted CS and they put in the adjustment request, but I have a feeling it will eventually be denied by the financial dept. Of course I will have to wait 5 days to find this out, and then call CS. So they should be upfront at least and offer the adjustment or refuse it at the CS end, not days later in the financial dept. after promising it. So I will have to see if they honor it or not. I'm not sure how this cuts down on returns, since I will most likely have to return my entire order, and if not completely turned off by this repurchase with the %off. I never had this problem before, but it has happened twice in the past month. Feeling like returning everything, feeling like not shopping Anthro anymore.
Update _ they did refuse the PA on this order of items that had not yet shipped out and were an additional 25% off – so I will be returning everything.
Agreed, this is the part I find frustrating. It just makes shopping there a bit unpleasant, like they're desperate to sell stock but don't really care about the customer experience anymore. The new policy about price changes isn't posted at the cash like the returns policy is. I bought a sale blouse on Monday and by Tuesday morning they announced the 25% off was back on (I mean, it's almost constant these days!). But no price adjustment for me! I mean, everything has been extra % off almost constantly. it`s like I had the bad luck to walk in the one day it wasn't…
I bought a t-shirt with the 25% off but I had kinda justified the unnecessary purchase because I would have a price adjustment on the blouse. Will likely return it. At least the blouse is 100% cotton and awesome, so there`s that. I can`t stand the cheap rayon they use for blouses and dresses so often- it doesn`t age well and always shrinks and wrinkles.
Sorry Anthro, I think you finally lost my good will. 🙁
Thank you Roxy for this very in-depth and thoughtful piece. I'm looking forward to a return to better fabrics and workmanship (although probably not from Anthropologie). I agree with the fact that you can only have so many clothes and then there is consumer burnout. At this point, I only want really special pieces, and to be able to enjoy the things I've picked up over the past few years. I've built an amazing closet, but if it's too full I can't really enjoy what I have.
I think 90 days would have been a better and less drastic policy change – 60 days suggests that they don't really have confidence that their product will hold up (or is desirable enough) and they want to cover their bases. The PA policy is annoying; therefore I will not buy sale items now without an additional % off.
I think the average price for Anthro has gone up by way more than $10. Still trying to figure out why this rayon Vanessa Virginia dress is $268. https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/plautilla-prin…
And lastly, shame on people who wear things and then return them. A retail store is not a library.
Thank you for all the insightful comments. They each confirmed my recent experience not the phone with Anthropologie customer service. I had bought a duvet cover on sale this week on the first day of the 25% off home goods deal. The percentage off did not transfer to the cart and I did not want to lose the one king left. In the past customer service always told me on the phone it is best to just call after buying an item and if the discount did not reflect, they would add it over the phone. So I did just that and was told that day by phone the 25% off would be refunded. Yesterday I received an email that no the discount would not be given even after it was confirmed by phone because I purchased the item on the day of the new policy. I called yesterday, certain that Anthropologie's mistake would be fixed and customer service kept saying no the discount wouldn't apply. I asked to speak with the manager and after half hour they agreed to give the discount. It was a bad experience. I was shocked at the new policy which was not very easy to find on their website, at the treatment over the phone which was never an issue in the past, and my sadness at whether I did not want to purchase from this company ever again. I went to your blog and am feeling validated that I am not the only one wondering where the Anthro charm has gone. Thank you and I agree with everyone's mounting feelings that change is not always good.
This has been happening to me as well, even weeks before the new policy. CS has promised PA and then they are denied without any notification, just a failure to show up. CS either needs to stop promising what they will not deliver, or they need to make it right. It is unacceptable for a company that prides itself on CS (or used to) to agree to PA then secretly not put them through. This is in BAD FORM ANTHRO
Not sure if anyone else had this experience- but in my local store, on the last weekend of the old policy, I found TONS of old returns for $9.95 ($6 with 40% off!)- old Floreat, Cartonnier, Tracy Reese, etc. (No sign of my other fave long-extinct brands though- Idra and Elevenses (RIP)). Someone (or more) obviously taking advantage of their last chance to return!
I saw a super gorgeous sparkly dressy Vanessa Virginia top, original retail $150 and now $6, that I totally would have bought except it was too big, even though the piece was obviously YEARS old- the tag was graying from its original white… but tags still on!
Kinda sad we will no longer be getting those super old popbacks in store. I used to stumbled upon them once in a while and it was always fun, somehow even if it wasn't my size.
I will miss the instore popbacks for sure. It just gets less and less fun to shop there. 🙁
but…………………… i thought they had a 1 year policy before? Might be fun for the shopper but that is SO NOT RIGHT to keep things that long and then return. The person sounds like a hoarder.
The policy was an unlimited time frame for returns.
I am interested to see what happens in a retail climate where department stores are closing up left and right, and small-production local boutiques are wildly popular, what will happen to the Anthro & Co concept? Will Anthropologie, having lost it's originality, quality and quirkiness, be able to swim in a river where others are sinking? They were ahead of the pack with their original concept, and it would make sense that they could have furthered that concept, introducing local makers and designers. But instead, they drop that and go full out mainstream. I just wonder if the ex-CEO brainstormed that. He is after all as mainstream and corporate as you can get, sitting on the board of Carmax.
Has anyone noticed that Anthro is also selling clothing from third-party brands at a SUBSTANTIAL increase in price? It's not only the price itself that's upsetting; it sends the message ( at least to me) that they can't come up with their own ideas, so they turn to wholesale items. I don't want to be so negative, but this really gets to me on top of all the other issues.
Yes! Some of their items, like a Dannijo pair of earrings was higher than Neiman Marcus. Anthropologie originally priced the earrings at $138, while they are $100 at Neiman's. (They've since adjusted the price to $100). And Neiman has free shipping. Another example is a Sundry ruched dress, which is at least $30 more than the same dress on Sundry's web site. Who are these people making these decisions?
They have always carried third party brands and at full price never cheaper than other places. They beauty was the ability to get it on sale or a fantastic pop back – who can remember the christmas of the pop back of $9.99 AG jeans. That is really no more so now folks will look to the site/store where it can be purchased the cheapest. Like amazon day or when Shop bop has their percentage off sale.
I remember that! I scored a pair!
Anyone else have experience with a denied return problem? I purchased a jacket in store but lost the receipt and apparently the store I purchased it from never put the purchase under my account so now it’s a denied return and I got the item for $99.95 and I was trying to do an exchange for something of the same price. Any advice? Suggestions?
Some of those SA's are NOT very good at taking your Anthro number or emailing you a receipt. I have to watch it like a hawk. They should be the ones asking.for this stuff, not me! If Anthro is going to get so pissy, I am also going to be! I already am developing a lot of resentment to the brand! I used to spend thousands a year! No more!
I hate when when they don’t email me my receipt. It should just be set in my account that I want it emailed.
New markdowns today – 14 pages of fug! I would like to keep supporting Anthro but there is nothing that even tempts me to walk into a store. Everything they have done of late feels like self-sabotage.
Anyone else notice an Employee Appreciation on until 7/29? What's that about? This is like GAP or no offense to Loft (who has really been on point as of late) offering those rounds of discounts where you know not to buy full price because you can always score your desired item for cheaper. It really cheapens the brand even further. I agree with Barbara who replied to another comment here, it trains the customer to not want to pay full price. Furthermore, purchases are not going to be prized finds or treasured must-have pieces. I really wonder what happened to Anthro is it because Senk or McCreight moved on? I feel like attention was paid to detail and even the largest Anthro stores seemed like personalized and magical boutiques back then. Regardless, Anthro continues to disappoint and disillusion its customers even more.
Employee appreciation is only for employees or if you know / are related to an employee and have a special employee card. A few times a year we get extra % discounts in certain categories. – Anthro employee
Hey thanks! I do recall this from previously! Thanks from your response!
I have a banner across the Anthropologie home page that says Employee Appreciation too. I wonder why it is showing up for some of us?
OK, kmkg and anyone else, what is the deal with that? Why am I getting an employee appreciation discount email?
I think David McCreight was a big part of the problem; within less than a year of when he started the brand really started going downhill in my eyes.
I suspect that the top level is filled with industry insiders who all just think the same these days (turned inwards, with blinkers on focused purely on quantitative not qualitative information). Then they leave and destroy the next brand in exchange for fabulous compensation.
(side note: I've been shopping at Anthropologie since the late 1990s, and have seen many changing trends, but since 2012 my purchases have trickled to almost nothing.)
Wow fantastic post summing up trends in the industry! You would think they would take you to lunch and pay you for advice as someone who used to be a big spender plus has this blog.
Anyone else getting extremely fed up with their shipping? I ordered my items over a week ago hoping I can bring them on my trip but they have yet to ship… and when I called customer service to cancel they claimed that it’s packed and ready to ship, 3 days later still nothing. Now I’m worried that the items will be sitting on my front porch for days. Anthro is taking longer and longer to ship now that some items even have gone out of stock so my items get cancelled.
Yes! I ordered an item for a birthday present 10 days ago and it has not shipped yet… My item is also now out of stock. Not worth paying the $12.95 shipping cost.
I just ordered an embroidered top for $9.95 plus shipping, but I used merchandise credit for most of it (wasn't sure if I would use the credit for a long time if ever, so I just went for it), so my total was around $5. Hope it ships!
Lol I’ve been waiting for a poncho I ordered on 6/21 to ship… I also ordered it again on 7/6…. and again on 7/8…. and NONE have shipped… or cancelled…stupidly ridiculous. I messaged them on facebook and they replied with the “Oh it’s backordered abd we are waiting for it to arrive to our warehouse” nonsense.
Just cancel all 3 orders, Anthro, and stop giving me hope that I might get ONE of the 3 orders.
What’s even funnier is that 2 of the orders I placed with other items and since they were ship to store, the other items are just sitting there.
Yes. I ordered a bunch of items on the 4th and they still haven’t shipped. I got tired of waiting and tried to cancel and they also said I couldn’t, yet it still hasn’t shipped. Of course the shipped the full priced items in my order immediately. After a week they started canceling some of the sale items. This will be my last order and if the other items ever ship I’m going to return it since I no longer want them.
Oops. This was supposed to be a reply to Antoinette.
Yes! It's extremely frustrating how full price items ship so fast and sale ones do not. It's not like they're losing money selling us sale items, we're still paying them… I used to trust their speedy shipping and praise how quick they were. Recently, I feel like their shipping has gotten slower and slower. Don't even get me started on how long their express shipping takes… it's not even express anymore.
I think a lot of these sale items are coming from stores and they end up getting purchased by someone in-store before our online orders can be fulfilled. Which is total BS-they should turn off the in store inventory.
Their inventory system is a complete mess.
I have a bunch of items that I ordered on the 6th, 11 days ago, that still haven't shipped yet. Some are brand new in stock right now! WTH Anthro?
So sale items most often come from stores. Each morning there is a “pick” of online orders assigned to each store. Employees must search for every item, print packing slips and package items for shipment. The inventory many times is not accurate and items cannot be found. I believe in that case the system looks for another store that may have that item but it won’t show up in that store’s pick until the next morning. So the process can take some time….as a consumer I can understand your frustration.
J crew had a similar system when I worked there… but the requests were constantly coming through and an SA was always assigned to it. Their inventory was much more up to date-I’d day we fulfilled 95% of the orders we received and if we had to decline it immediately went to the next store in the queue.
This is interesting. Thanks for your input! Do you know how the item being “backordered” factor in? I heard those are because they’re still waiting for the item to ship back to the warehouse. Is that true? I had 2 items that said backordered, and 5 days ago one of them switched to has yet to ship but nothing sense.
*since not sense.
Unrelated but hope the community has experience with this. My package says it was delivered but it's nowhere to be found (and this has never happened at this address before). Is anthro usually good at dealing with this?
Yes, they are really good about it, just call customer service. They should send a replacement item right away and then you can return the missing one if it ever shows up.
They sent items several times to my old address by mistake and that's how they handled it.
Well that was the OLD Anthro. They may not be that nice anymore.
Thanks evb! I called yesterday. They refunded me and re-sent the item with shipping waived and a 10% discount. It was a pleasant surprise!
Ha! That's so cool, hope you are happy with it when it arrives 🙂
With all of the new policies and a very disgruntled customer base, they should at lease step up their CS, but on the contrary many of my phone interactions have been rude and unhelpful. This never used to be the case. I just called to check on a return that was processed a week ago, but hasn't shown up in my bank account. Before even getting an order number or agreeing to check on anything, CS rudely mused why I would even return the item to the store instead of sending it back online (umm shipping costs) and she directed me to call the physical store, and then my bank, and then the store again. It was originally an online order, so they can check on all the details of the return. (I will note I was not rude or demanding or anything. I just asked to check on the status of my return)
I wonder if they got some new employees in the call center. I've called about these orders that I placed 12 days ago and noticed that I knew the policies better than the CS person I was talking with. But I would email CS about their employee's behavior, in any event, she needs to know what their policies are!
Anthropologie, an exercise in how to frustrate and/or lose a customer: First you eliminate the ability for an SA or CS to see nationwide if an item is available. Second, you eliminate charge sends except if you buy a gift card. Then you eliminate charge sends completely. Fourthly you install a 60 day return policy after two decades of unlimited returns. In the meantime, you have switched up your product to the great confusion and dissatisfaction of your long-term customers. You then decide to expand your on-line only shopping atmosphere, drying up the in-person shopping experience which was part of what won your customers to begin with. You fire all your wonderful creative visual people who used to make beautiful amazing displays, and hang mediocre, forgettable, mainstream decorations.
Recently I noticed Sundance's customer service policy: "Our Quality Guarantee: If at any time and for any reason, you do not feel that your purchase has lived up to your expectations simply return it for an exchange or refund." Nordstrom has the same policy.
Just a morning vent.
Lou, I think I love you. I've noticed we have very similar attitudes about this whole Anthro business!
Agree with your sentiments, Lou!
haha! thanks evb!
Couldn't have said it any better! 🙂
ROXY, while I'm thinking about it, I have a question for you. Can you use the amount of unused gift cards as a proxy for customer satisfaction?
The way I'm thinking is a couple people have mentioned they have unused gift cards from Christmas, birthday etc. So if they are not being used, Anthro has still made money but are not targeting their customers effectively. So #unused gift cards is inversely proportional to customer satisfaction.
But now with this new return policy, it's not going to be as accurate and the numbers of merchandise cards is going to explode. Or can you track them as two separate things – do they have different codes on them or something?
Just avoiding doing my job…
his is so disappointing. A birthday card contained another gift card…so now i have $75 and nothing to buy :/ The $50 was left over from more than a year ago… i did get something ( a pot) but it was too large for spot intended so back it went.
Try to find $9.95 popbacks that were originally $128 or more (up to $300) and hope they ship 🙂
gift cards and merchandise cards are different, gift cards will say "for you" on them and merchandise cards just have the letter a on them. you can't put merch credit on a gift card, the computer will give the SA an error.
Don't expect better clothing choices, but you can buy a crystal face roller if you want:
Anthropologie is now selling dried chicken broth at $60 a jar??? OMG
Do they really think we are that dumb? Give me a frickin' break.
Have you seen the paint that is $110.00 –$137.00 per GALLON?
Farrow & Ball paint, very expensive to say the least
For those in Canada, Dulux is makes a perfect dupe to Fsrrow and Ball's Hague Blue, really identical, and in a much more durable matte finish. The lighter shades are impossible to truly match though, which is why they can charge so much.
In any case, only order Farrow and Ball paint directly from the company to get the same batch numbers, and freshly mixed paint just before you need it!
I just wanted to share an update. Ordered a few sale things on the 16th – 25% off on the 17th. CS put in request for PA but it was denied as they are sale items. This ordered did not even ship out for days after the 25% off started. I will be returning it all as soon as it arrives.
An order I placed on the 9th had one item canceled, but unfortunately I didn't receive a cancellation notice until the 17th. It was a sale item and obviously coming from a store, but 6 business days seems like such a long time to wait to get a notice. I emailed customer service voicing my displeasure and received a code for 20% off my next purchase. While appreciate the gesture and they certainly didn't need to do this, I just wish they'd fix the inventory system! I placed an order early this morning before the code arrived for a different sale item marked "Last one in stock!". I'm pretty sure that item won't ship either. 🙁
I don't know what the answer is – keep store inventory on and know there's a good chance you won't get your item or turn it off and miss out on items that aren't in the warehouse. It seems like it's either or with no middle ground.
Anthro Perks Day starts tomorrow! All weekend 20% off. But considering I'm still waiting on 5 items I ordered on the 6th, 13 days ago, I don't see any reason to order anything more.
Nice that they are having an Anthro Day but it is too little too late for me. I am totally turned off by the new policy changes. There is also 50% off sale items at Free People which interests me far more.
I've been having a blast with the Free People sale! My store had lots of full priced items marked 50% off too!
I'll be sitting out Anthro Day.
Me too. Very exciting! I shopped both online and at my local Free People store.
I quit regularly shopping at Anthropologie around 2011-2012, after going through a period where 50% of my wardrobe was from there. A part of it was that a bunch of Anthro-community bloggers all quit their blogs at the same time, a part of it was that the fussy, art-teacher aesthetic clashed with the prevailing athleisure trend of that moment, and the biggest part of it was that I had just had a baby and their high-maintenance, nipped at the waist clothes were no longer practical. I've Ebayed a lot of what I had and donated a fair amount too. Every once in a while I will find myself buying something from them that is not their brand but that they happen to have at a better price than I can find elsewhere, such as certain swimsuit or denim brands. But I never browse their website anymore.
I've worked for Anthropologie for 5 years and I'm thrilled about the change. Customers have no idea how many people abuse our generous return policy. I still remember the shameless woman who bought $600 clothes in a size L as maternity clothing because she was pregnant, then returned them after having her baby and coolly told me she no longer needed the bigger size. Wow. I had to refund her every penny and of course we made a massive loss. The few irresponsible and greedy customers we see in retail spoil it for everyone else. Other stores have had a 2 week return windows for ages. Ages! Anthropologie is finally doing it now after years of bending over backwards. But of course we'll get slammed for it.
The policy has always been “unworn” items may be returned. If the items were visibly worn why not deny the return?
Yes it is terrible that there are individuals that wear clothing and try to return it, and it seems that this is more common than most of us realize. So updating Anthropologie's return policy to 90 days or even 60 isn't upsetting to me. What is frustrating is the new price adjustment policy, and not offering a price adjustment for items that have not even shipped out because they are"sale" items. This seems to be unfair and is not in line with other retailers that I shop with. This policy just seems stingy and will not prevent the above scenario from happening. To me this just encourages more returns and makes savvy shoppers feel as if they are paying more than they should. Maybe shortening PA to one week would have been a better move. Or stopping all the pricing games Anthro now plays. Also Anthropologie's CS is still saying "sure we can adjust that" and then LATER saying it was not in line with the new policy. So my beef is with communication, especially for a company that used to pride itself on customer service. So IMO if Anthro is getting slammed it is because they are falling out of line with what they are know for, not because they no longer have unlimited returns.
I will note that all the store employees are still pleasant, helpful, and welcoming, but calling or emailing CS has been an act of frustration.
Agree. Shouldn't have taken back worn clothing.
Just to clarify, yes the $600 clothes had been worn.
You should not have taken the clothes back then. That's your problem, not any of ours.
You are wrong, the policy was never that items had to be unworn. I worked at numerous Anthropologie stores in a wide variety of positions… and interviewed at Corporate. I know what their policy was. People likely assumed that was a caveat… but it was not. Anthro policy was for years and years and years that you could return anything for any reason. It was a joke that it was likely Nordstrom’s policy, only in writing. That was still the case when I left the company in very early 2016. Tags. No tags. Worn. Unworn. Did not matter. I remember getting a talking to from upper level management for trying to deny a return of a quilt from multiple years earlier that had yellow (possibly urine) stains. Her Anthro card verified the quilt was from years prior. She said it hadn’t washed well.
I was forced by corporate to accept the return the next time she came in.
This change was no doubt largely due to customers abusing the policy and Anthro not generating enough profit to compensate.
It was an abuse by customers that escalated in intensity over the years. I started working for Anthro in 2010… and it started becoming more of an issue around 2013 or so.
You couldn’t combat it as a customer associate, senior associate, manager in training, or assistant manager… at all. People threatening to call customer service (and doing it) to try to get you fired (staring that was their intention) when you would not honor a price adjustment because it was weeks outside the window. Having them say they would just return it and immediately re-buy it. One time a woman was so upset we couldn’t process her no receipt / no anthro card return for original price in cash for items that were well worn and years old, but only do a merch credit for the lowest selling price… she went into the fitting room and literally peed on a bunch of merchandise.
These things got more and more frequent. People abusing the system.
Anthropolgie’s shipping is seriously a hot mess. I placed two orders on July 19th. The full priced items are being delivered today.
The online only sale items have not even been processed ?
I called customer service and they said oh well it looks like they will arrive on July 31st. I said that’s the estimated date based on when I ordered and the last possible date to be delivered in their shipping window. I asked what the reason for the delay was because other items were being delivered today. He said oh there was a delay from the shipping company…oh really ?
The phone reps seriously do not know anything.
I hate ordering online these days but they don’t put the good stuff in the stores.
Social media is useless because they just delete the comments they don’t like and don’t allow negative things to be seen.
I also hate ordering online but there is nothing good in my local stores either. Same old Gap looking clothes. No new housewares. A giant snoozefest.
I’m still waiting for a sale item from 6/21 to ship…??
Have not received a cancellation notice yet.
So utterly embarrassing for them.
My local store has a huge room of "gathered together" merchandise for 40% off. I assume they are all returns. These items are not on sale online, but were discounted in the store.
Where is your local store pls?
I linked this post to a comment thread going on anthropolgie’s Facebook page ?
They responded to an earlier comment about their new return policy and asked for my email so they could give my feedback to the “appropriate people”
I feel a blacklist coming on ?
But Jillian, would you really care if you got red flagged by a company that puts out boring stuff? This is off topic but my prediction is that Anthro now will be designing it's own everything. They are phasing out all the good smaller and sometimes indy designers they used to carry and now just carry junk designed by them or larger mainstream designers. I am not lying when I say I can't even find anything to buy anymore.
Have you looked at their dinnerware lately? It's awful. All designed in house.
Thank God I bought tons in the past bc there's nothing good going on anymore as far as I can see. I have the feeling that the big Anthro & Co are just going to be 3 floors of mundane. Sigh.
I just bought some pilcro pants that will go right back…why? all the reviews said that the color ran when washed. funny thing is I asked about the return policy if defective>>> " like if the color splotches when washed"… as the green color is one that often does…
i wish they would just put things on sale and leave them there… lower prices periodically but this extra % off then its off and then it is lower % off…reminds me of macys and other dept stores now gone……. FINALLY used the gift cards… got the macrame runner still at full price $72 for $24. NO IDEA how that happened. I was simply using my gift card adn the 20% anthro deal. BUT they used my CC instead ( i was making another purchase) so when I returned an item and they put it back on gift card it was $75 on the card.. WHY? because they woudl not use gift card on my runner order they did in store for me. GO FIGURE. it was a long drawn our transaction for them to figure it out ..I told them I was NOT going to PAY for the runner when I have $75 gift cards in my other pocket. I FINALLY found stuff to spend it on. Iris lace top, hot pink open work "sweater top ( forgot the name) and then also got soem anthro denim leggings and camo pants… and meadow rue blouse…. first stitch of clothing i have purchased in 1 1/2 years
FYI! – I called to see if they would waive shipping costs for a couple pairs of shoes (I didn't hit the min $ order to qualify for free shipping). I asked them kindly and mentioned that the new shoe policy means I am wary of buying shoes from Anthro since I can't try them on before I buy and I can't just buy anything I like now that I can't return to stores. I may return them and will have to fork out the return shipping fees so I was hoping to get it shipped for free one way. They said they couldn't waive the shipping because of the new policy. I've called customer service in the past and they would always do it without much hassle, but now they won't budge. I promptly cancelled my order so I don't have to deal with the hassle. From now on I have to extra careful buying from Anthro. That will definitely curb my shopping there.
I just stopped myself from ordering a pair of sale shoes Anthro online. Noticing how erratic and unreliable they have been I didn't want the hassle with their orders, especially if I have to pay for shipping, possible return fee and with the incomprehensible inconvenience of not being able to return shoes to stores. I don't usually return stuff but knowing I didn't have a choice sealed the deal. I bought from Shopbop instead.
I heard some odd grumblings today as I was noticing how bare my store was and mentioned it. The person said something about Anthro is going to go to selling just their house brands or something along those lines, I didn't catch it all…for example, they'll make a top and make it in 8 different prints. I think they're a mess. They have truly lost their way. I have been so faithful to this store and I find it heartbreaking that they cannot and WILL NOT follow what their customers are saying over and over again to go back to their roots…even just alittle bit. I dislike shopping in that big a** store where the customer service is nothing like it used to be and the clothing is even worse. Anthro of old is dead. They will be like the Gap soon. It's a hot mess.
Actually, I think it could possibly help if Anthro focused more on its house brands, rather than selling other designers' stuff, often at a mark-up. But I understand what you're saying more generally that they haven't gone back to their roots, or even created a unique new style.
Frankly I don't think they give a s**t. They have convinced themselves that they are on the right track, but this is the beginning of the end, as I see it.
I went into the new Anthro & Co in my area this weekend and was not impressed. I bought nothing. It was, as I feared, 3 floors of the mundane. I don't even know why I keep going there. It has been a long time since I felt good about shopping at Anthropologie. You are right, klji, it is a hot mess, and they already do look like every other store in the mall, and have resembled the Gap for most of 2018. I had the idea yesterday to just seek out interesting, new designers on my own to find the unique items that I like, so I guess that will be the plan for now instead of hoping that Anthropologie will go back to providing unique clothing and housewares.
I do have to say one more time, their dinnerware/kitchenware is a train wreck. The in-house designs look like they could be bought at Target, no lie. And in case nobody has noticed, you can now buy Anthropologie dinnerware and bedding at Nordstrom, which I think is a big mistake for both parties.
I'm also going to be seeking the unique…smaller scale..some local designers, etc. I'm pretty much done.
I have also found some new with tags Anthro old stock on Ebay that I'm having some fun with.
safer to purchase from Nordstrom as they still stand behind their products…. but we will see how long THAT lasts. The store no longer has the fun atmosphere i used to enjoy walking around an enjoying.
Plus, regarding Nordstrom, it makes no sense that they are carrying brands that are already in the mall: JCrew, Madewell, Anthropologie. But, yes, they are customer-friendly.
I agree the housewares have fallen off. I used to buy dishes and such but haven't purchased Anthro home in several years. Frankly Target's wares are BETTER. I think the designs are just to flowery and generic. Have some old pieces I love though.
Yes, Lori, all the prints on clothing and housewares seem to have a British-small-flowery vibe which is boring and generic.
Gap may have a reputation for ordinary, everyday clothing, but I feel they're making efforts in using sustainable fabrics and production methods and in educating their female workers. In contrast, Anthropologie has done little on these fronts and seems less transparent than ever with some of their deceptive online fabric descriptions. I feel better shopping at the Gap, and recently have found cuter clothing there than at Anthro.
Totally agree on the dinnerware front. None of the sale kitchenware is moving in my store. No one wants it.
I guess I wasn't calling out the Gap as a bad company just making reference to something that Anthro never used to be. I have over many years bought things at the Gap. I have nothing against them personally. 🙂
well the meadow rue sold out blouse going back also. The fabric is so flimsy when i held it up to admire in mirror I saw light coming thru the fabric where it is stitched ( pin tucks)…HOLES… the fabric look like realllllly thin cheesecloth… it will be no time before it is full of snag and holes…. too bad so sad… back into the bag it goes… wow all the fine print on the new register tapes. SHOES must be sent back wow… $$ shipping just to try them on…. not cool
I agree, not cool with the new policy that shoes have to be returned back to the warehouse resulting in a loss of money to the customer. Too many retailers offer free return shipping, so Anthro will not be an option for me.
20% off dresses, which isn't a big deal. However I bought an older popback yesterday and thought they might honor the extra 20% off (since it has not shipped). No, but at least they were up front about it which is better than promising and not delivering. I asked to cancel my order, but it is "processing" so they couldn't cancel it. I think whoever said "they don't give a s***" is right. The CS person was nice, but they really don't care. It is such a turn off, like shopping at the drug store where everyone can't wait until their shift is over to go home and leave this place. More and more I feel like that when shopping there too.
FORGOT TO ASK YA'LL>>>> 2 of the last 3 visits/try ones there were MALE SA's in the dressing room area! WHAT is that all about? I do NOT want a GUY in the dressing room area! They were both worthless as far as being helpful! They were clueless about fit etc and i sure as heck not going to ask a guy to "help me with this zipper" or " please help me get this back off over my head." This is a HUGE turn off for me! They do NOT sell mens clothing..they do NOT need men in the dressing room >PERIOD!
My favorite Personal Shopper of all time was a male. He has left Anthro now which worked out as I had started shopping there waaaayyyy less. He was so knowledgeable and fun, and I never had a problem with him zipping me up. We just had that kind of relationship, though. Fantastic guy! I bought thousands of dollars of stuff because of him. A lot of the females don't know anything either. You are entitled to your opinion, but I thought I would share mine as well.
thnx! glad to hear. These guys were just…guys who knew not much.. sorry to say :/
I’m so confused by the pieces anthro is advertising. They posted the “silk scarf print dress” yesterday and it’s made of rayon for $178…why?
Then there’s this amazing embroideeed Maeve dress that I haven’t seen in stores or promoted and it’s old gorgeous anthro! All sizes are still in stock. Cotton embroidered pretty peasant dress and it’s no where to be seen!
Someone commented on anthropolgie’s Facebook page that they don’t know why people are complaining…they have things from 10 years ago that are like new ?
Of course they do! But things from the last two years are falling apart and you probably paid much more for those than your pieces that are still in great shape.
I just bought a pair of “silk shorts” on sale. I check the bottom. Rayon. Sigh
Yeah…because I just can't wait to get this. lol https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/western-chambr…
What on earth is that thing? Yikes and no sale haha! That price is ridiculous too, what could they be thinking and why can't they just listen to what their customers want? I just don't get it. I suppose along with some good gems Anthro has always made available some questionable pieces but yeah lol.
Wow that’s it scary
That is comical!! The styling too – what is up with that beret. Don't mind them but—
This needs an explanation… Otherwise, it's just chaos. What is going on?
The very last thing I bought was the San Antonio Dress~ Tracy Reese x Anthro. I have to say it's a beautiful dress. It felt heavy taking it out of the package but putting it on, it's very lightweight. I ordered the SP and the length is a perfect midi on me( 5'3). Straps are great..coverage is great. There are no pockets but there is a slip layer AND a crinoline layer. 🙂 I justified it with the 20% off and some return of items I didn't love. I typically love TR dresses. https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/san-antonio-dr…
That really is a gorgeous dress and almost enough to make me revisit Anthropologie just for that one item. Unfortunately, it is not available to purchase near me and I refuse to pay duties on an item that I haven't tried on in store. I must thank Anthro for not listening to their loyal customers because it has forced me to find other options which I am loving. While I am spending more, the quality of the clothes is far superior – natural fibers and classic designs. I honestly don't think their is much that could lure me back to them at this point.
This past weekend I made a visit to an Anthro store to exchange a dress for another size. I purchased mine a few weeks ago during the extra 40% off sale and it is now sold out online.
The first SA asked if I wanted to return my original dress and buy the correct size dress or do an even exchange. So I asked what the price of the dress was in store and at the same time a second SA showed up to that register.
The dress in store was ringing up at $27 with the extra 20% off dresses but the sale tag on the dress said $89.99 so the second SA told me I would have to pay that minus the 20% off….Huh?!
I had my online receipt and showed her I paid $50 something for my original dress and would rather do a straight across exchange! At first, it seemed she wouldn't budge but finally she said she could do that… So I spent $20 something more on the dress than I should have, which isn't the end of the world but idea that they will do something like that is terribly disappointing.
…And they wonder why the sale room was overflowing and nothing is moving… Hmm
Weird. They sound confused. lol
I'm trying to remember but you shop the Portland Anthropologie stores? 🙂
I was on vacation visiting family so I went to the Bridgeport store. All of the SA's working were so helpful and with my returns but sent me to the big downtown Anthro store to exchange my dress since they didn't have one in stock. What a difference between stores and how helpful the SA's are! The downtown store is where I had to pay more for the dress than it was ringing up. Also, the ones working in the fitting room were complaining about the overflowing sale room and how nothing is moving, even when there is 40% off… I've never seen such a large sale room…Wow!
I agree with you!!! I'm closer to downtown but about ready to go to the BP store because its still like the older boutique stores used to be. I dislike the downtown store so much now.. except for a few people that have worked there for a very long time and I still love)…everyone else. Meh. There is no CS there like their used to be at all. It's lost all its magic. Yeessss. The sale room is crazy big and full…of yuckiness.
The Bridgeport store does feel like the older Anthro stores! It still has that magic 🙂
The downtown store is HUGE but is missing that old magical feel… Sad but the big store concept is not working in their brand's favor.
If I didn't love the dress I was exchanging so much, I would have returned it and left it there. If they act like that with all the sale items, it's no wonder nothing is moving!
What dress is it!?!! 🙂
The Cleary Dress 🙂 I did not like the solid colors but the pattern ones are awesome! Comfortable dress for summer, flattering and love that it has pockets!
Depending on the color/pattern they have different sale prices in store I was told at the register until the second SA said it didn't matter what they are ringing up as, what the price said on the tag was what I would pay.
Another thing I found interesting, I was shopping with my Mom who had a birthday coupon and was told by the SA's in the fitting room she couldn't use it on any of her sale purchases.
The first helpful SA who was helping me before the second one came up and took over, started helping my Mom and told her she was fine to use it on her entire purchase.
I think you are right about them being confused…Sigh
You can absolutely use your birthday coupon on sale items! I don’t work there but I know that. It even says it on the card.
Also they should honor the lowest price- either ringing up or marked. Either way something was mismarked and that’s on them.
If they want to be all ridiculous with their new policies then they should expect customers to be very unforgiving.
I know every SA is new st some point but the lack of training I’ve seen at my local store is ridiculous. I know more than they do sometimes. Thankfully the managers are very knowledgeable and handle things well but it is sucks when there’s not one to help.
Thanks! I thought so too 🙂
I so rarely get to shop in store I was surprised to hear the SA say that about the bday coupon but I do see online it can't be used for sale items anymore which is unfortunate… Good to know it does work in store.
I think they should have honored it too, which kind of stinks but not the end of the world, just irritating : /
I agree about SA's being new too and try to be understanding 🙂 I just wish everyone was on the same page…It's like a game trying to shop there and being told two different things about everything.
I used my birthday code online yesterday…
It worked on sale items
Too bad sale went 25% today and no price adjustments ?
Makes me my want to buy sale and why the rooms are still full.
Thanks for letting me know! 🙂
The last time I tried to use my birthday discount online, the sale items in my cart that were cheaper at that time with an additional 25% off sale, the price changed to the first cut sale price and the additional 15% off was reflected in my cart!
It was a better to buy them with the 25% off sale since the birthday discount was not added to the lowest sale price.
Even the sale items that weren't included in the additional 25% off sale, those items changed from the sale price they were at to the first cut price and then 15% was taken off. That's why I was thinking it doesn't work on sale items online but I hope Anthro has since corrected that…
that is because the additional sale was a promo not a further cut…. you get the 25 % off or the birthday % off…. a no brainer to take the promo which is why I never use my birthday discount. 15% big whoop…usually there is a promo going on unless i want candles or mugs and I need neither..
The birthday promo is pointless now.
They offer 20% and sale on sale so often you get a better deal without it.
I remember when it was 25% for your birthday and it was a lottery so it was super special
I don't understand why my birthday coupon didn't work on sale items that were not part of the ever revolving promos. Those items bumped back up to the first cut sale price instead showing the current sale price plus the 15% off.
Talking to CS they told me the bday coupon did not work on any sale items online anymore. I'm wondering if this was a website glitch at the time and if I had talked to someone else I would have been told something different…I'm finding this happens all the time lately, even in store the SA's all have a different answer for what the bday coupon could be used on.
I agree the bday coupon is not special and pointless now 🙁 Remember when they would send you a cute little gift in the mail with your coupon? That was always exciting and special 🙂
Also wanted to say Happy Birthday!! 🙂 Hope you had a special day!
Anthropolgie just came out with a new “curvy” pilcro line. It looks really cute but why in the world do they have the stick thin models wearing it!?
They’ve been showing some curvier girls in their photos so why didn’t they use them?
Did people notice shoe returns are free? I guess their new policy of no shoe returns to stores was met with a resounding thud.
No I didn't, but I did just notice they're using celebrity models on their website now (on the main page at least). I was surprised to see 74 year old Lauren Hutton modeling their clothes on the website, even though she's still gorgeous.
The clothes Lauren Hutton is wearing in the ad campaign reminds me of Eileen Fisher stuff. So strange…
I had not noticed that, but one of my local stores did do an adjustment on my recent purchases from a week ago. Sale went to 40% this weekend and they did an adjustment, just like they used to. I was pleased.
Would you mind telling us where your local store is?
I wasn’t aware of the change until I asked for a price adjustment with this past Labor Day weekend extra 40% off sale. The return policy doesn’t bother me at all but changing price adjustments to ONLY items bought at full price is ridiculous. I hadn’t even received the items I ordered online and I can’t get an adjustment just because they were already on sale? I pretty much only buy sale items and still end up spending a lot at Anthro. The old price adjustment policy let me buy with confidence that I won’t feel “cheated” that something is at a lower price a day later. And honestly that’s encouraged me to buy more and keep most of the items i may have been on the fence about. This is super disappointing and I feel like I will be buying a lot less and returning more (items that would have previously qualified for an adjustment). I’ve always love Anthro but this is going to curb my shopping there significantly 🙁
I was a little older when I stumbled across Anthro. I thought I found the style I was looking for as I grew up. A touch different a little unique splash of me I could add. I also had stars in my eyes when I realized I could return at my leisure as I had kids and getting back to a store for returns sometimes fell at the bottom of my list. But browsing online became a daily event as I sipped my coffee. Now I'm disappointment. I won't be the mom with a little snap in my outfit. I have had some issues recently of purchasing sale items online and then going on an additional percentage off where they wouldn't budge on giving it to me. This will lead to me returning it as soon as I receive it. Also knowing that I will be under the gun to decide if I like something in the 60 days will make me put it back on the rack and spend my hard earned money elsewhere. I have spent the savings on many occasions at Anthro but I will see my savings grow now. As I will most likely not be nearly as quick to spend my money at Anthro as much or not at all. Sad because when I used to walk into Anthro I felt like I was walking into an enchanted garden. I could imagine laying down on that velvet green couch and dream of what I was going to try on that made me feel as if I was princess. Now shopping there is stressful and frazzled and who needs that after having a mom day.
Thanks for this post! I'm a Canadian who has often shopped online at Anthropologie since I'm 5'1" and they don't offer petites in my local store (Montreal). Not only does Anthropologie require Canadians to shop in US dollars and pay exorbitant shipping and return costs, but now they've added a nail to the coffin with their new restrictive returns policy. To avoid expensive duties and shipping costs, I've often shipped items to a shipping place at the US border and gone down every few months to try on, pick up, and return whatever doesn't fit. But I can't always get there right away, so having only 60 days to return items is going to make me stop shopping at Anthropologie. I was already struggling with their price/quality ratio lately — higher prices for cheap, crappy clothing — and I find their petite sizing is often off, items are too big and baggy and oversized even in petite sizes. Plus, their return shipping partner is terrible, returns take ages and I've had to chase down more than one lost package. At this point I'm fed up and ready to throw in the towel with this brand.
You can probably also blame LifeHacker for doing a post including Anthro as a place where you could return used merchandise… one of many blogs and bloggers who boasted about the wonders of this. When too many people abuse something… it gets taken away. I think it took this long as Anthro economics could no longer support the abuse fiscally
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