Wait—Are Anthropologie Clothes Actually Cute?

Apparently not.

Fur at half price

Images via Anthropologie.

We love a good embroidered sweater or floppy hat as much as the next chick, and Philly’s Anthropologie has tapped into the boho-chic market unlike anyone else. However, this quarter’s sales for the retailer are down two percent from an already lackluster year. Is the brand losing steam?

The Anthro’s chairman Richard Hayne told the Washington Post, “Clearly, the task at hand for the Anthropologie team is to improve the apparel assortment.” If you’re a designer, that comment stings. But the truth hurts, as we all know. Just take a look at Anthro’s dresses—the brand’s best-selling category— from last spring, which completely tanked in sales as the article points out. Have Anthro designers fallen out of touch with their customer?

Now, I’m not exactly the Anthro customer per se. When I walk into an Anthropologie store, Here’s more or less my thought process:

  • Well this is intimidating.
  • All of these muted pastels are hurting my eyes.
  • I kinda like that weirdly cut top.
  • *Tries on top.* So I’m definitely not getting this top.
  • Why do I bother—were’s the home section?
  • Put down the woodland creatures serving set.
  • I need to leave.

The thing is, I want to be the Anthropologie customer. Their window displays get me every time I’m even remotely close to Rittenhouse Square. I’m in love with their home goods and thoughtful-seeming gifts. I adore the idea of embroidered dresses and embellished pillows and tassels fringing my linen tank. But, truth be told, I’ve never bought a single article of clothing from Anthro. There’s something that skews just a little more country club than bohemian romance about the clothes, the whole experience falling flat somewhere between window display, fitting room and register. Apparently I’m not the only one who feels that, given the brand’s decreased sales over the past year.

In response to the lingering fiscal slump, things may be shifting focus at Anthro headquarters. The Washington Post reports,

“Haynes told investors he is so bullish Anthropologie’s potential as a home goods retailer that he said he could foresee a future in which clothing accounts for less than 50 percent of the store’s sales.”

Does this mean we can expect to see the home and gifts sections triple in size? A girl can dream. In the meantime, I just hope Anthro can dodge J.Crew’s fate.