December 29, 2013

Whatever Happened to Ann Taylor?

Hurts my Eyes just to look at it
Dear Ann,

I don't know what happened. Until not too long ago all I had to do was step into one of your stores and I would find the best sweaters, the most beautiful shoes, the brightest colors, the coziest pants... but now?

What happened now?

I was shopping mid-December at a very nice mall, and most of the stores were mobbed by people picking out gifts for themselves and for others, but when I passed in front of your store I saw the sales people bored and lonely. Not one customer was in the store. I almost wanted to take a picture, but I felt bad and didn't.

A few days later, I had a conversation with a co-worker who is (was) an Ann Taylor lover just like me, and I could have easily said exactly the same things she was telling me: "I don't know, it was weird, I went into the store and I found nothing I wanted". Two years prior, she and I would go in your store and had to use all of our will power not to buy the whole collection in one shot!

What happened?

From the Must Have Looks. Really??
My mother-in-law knows how much I love(d?) your clothes and this year, just like all the other years, she gave me a generous gift certificate to spend at Ann Taylor. And for the first time ever, I was sad about it, because I didn't know if I could find anything I liked.

As a matter of fact, I went to your store on December 26th, when every other store in the mall was even more mobbed than that time in mid-December, and guess what? Your store was, once again, empty. The sale was there, lots of things at 40% off, but still empty. And I left empty handed, too. I told myself to wait until the Spring collection, hoping for the best.

What happened?!?

I think I know when all this started to go bad... it was at the Power of Presence Event, where even the host was wearing something out of my fashion disaster files (florals and stripes!), and I remember all the negative comments about the line on Facebook.

What happened then?

Did something change? Was there an internal revolution and you now have different people behind the scenes? How are your numbers? Look at the numbers (numbers don't lie), and if they are not as good as few years ago, then maybe I am not so out of line here.

And while I'm afraid it might be too late for this Spring/Summer collection, please, do something before the next Winter collection! I mean there is "technically" nothing wrong with these new arrivals, but at the same time there is nothing right, either. They all look like "safe bets" to me. Plain and basic. Except the dress, which is "ugly" to me. Maybe this collection is too masculine for my taste. The oranges and the navy blues... but I can't say it's just me, because I get the same response from other Ann Taylor fans, and let's not forget the empty stores... so it can't be just me.

And please don't be upset with me.

I used to really love you (even though I am a little ticked off I don't get invited to previews anymore...but still)!

I used to snap pictures of your windows to use for inspiration (I have both the dress and the cardigan!), so I know something is different, I've seen it happen (don't know why it happened)...

Did you lose Kate, too? I haven't seen her in a while.

And if nothing else, you should be happy people are noticing the change and complaining about it, because it gives you a chance to fix things, to make your fans/customers shoppers again.

So let's start fresh again, and please give me/us a nice collection soon, like the old times, because this gift certificate is burning a hole in my wallet!

NY Spender

P.S. Feel free to call me for ideas, and I could even design part of your new collection (I swear I should be able to do better than this one!!)   ;)


Daisy said...

Happy, HAPPY New Year to ALL!! Are there any sentimentalists out there regretting the end of another year? There's still a few hours left, even in NYC! Anyone in Times Square tonight? Got my house and Christmas tree decorated just in the nick of time. I plan keep them around for a few more days.

I already did smooched a guy already, should I find a different partner at the stroke of midnight? - Ha - Will my carriage turn back into a pumpkin at the same time? Happy New Year everyone.


NY Spender said...

Happy New Year Daisy! Glad to hear you're smooching around!! ;)