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We’re obsessed with shopping here at Racked (if you haven’t noticed), and are particularly interested in the how and why that influence our decisions. So, we’ve decided to compare notes with real people and their very real budgets.
Meet Kaitlin Concannon, an allocator for Anthropologie, based in Philadelphia. Kaitlin’s position can best be described as an inventory analyst, meaning she spends most of her time strategizing and considering what pieces will sell best in what locations and at what times. (Don’t worry, we didn’t quite know what it meant either.)
With her whole career centered around knowing the market and consumers better than they know themselves, she has a unique personal take on shopping — and shares it with us below.
How often do you shop?
Every day — I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shop everyday while at work. My morning routine is to get to work early, get a big cup of coffee at Jharoka (coffee shop on campus), and shop online before I get my day started. I love browsing retailers’s websites, especially if I have my eye on something, because things do change daily! Yet, I maybe purchase something about once every other week.
How has your career in fashion affected the way you shop?
After seeing the same product day after day, it helps me get over that lust period of wanting to buy EVERYTHING you think you want. If I still like something after seeing it daily for weeks/months, then I know it’s something that I really do want and will not grow tired of. On that same note, I have become much more patient and will wait for a brand to have a promotion prior to buying full price.
Why do you shop?
I find it incredibly therapeutic to walk around after a long day or if I’m feeling down and look at beautiful products, or to snuggle up on the couch and browse different sites on my phone. It makes me happy. I love to see what different retailers are offering since trends are changing so fast now – it’s interesting to see who dives into trends and stands for them in a big way. Staying up to date on trends and noticing how retailers merchandise their product is a perfect example of where my work and play intermingle.
Do you shop mostly online or IRL?
Both! I love shopping IRL but I spend a lot of my time online scouting my favorite brands. I usually look online first so when I go into the store, I’ll bee-line to the things I’m most interested in. Also, if something is a higher price point, I usually look online and read all of the reviews, then go see it IRL and try it on/see if it’s worth buying!
What are your favorite places to shop online?
What's your biggest shopping pet peeve?
When people write reviews that do not give insight to potential shoppers trying to make a purchase. I don’t care if you got dog hair on your sweater when you wore it to your mother-in-law’s house because you sat on her couch and now you’re somehow pissed off at J.Crew – like, c’mon, is it cute/comfy/true-to-size or not?
Do you talk to sales associates?
Yes, always. I have worked in retail since I was 16, both in the field and now in a corporate setting, and have seen the ugliest sides of people from being an associate and in managerial roles. Being nice takes zero effort! I always make it a point to acknowledge associates if they approach to assist me or even just to say hi!
Do you go out of your way to shop sales?
Yes! I love a good bargain and knowing I’m getting a great value for something. But I will not buy something unless I think I need it. I don’t like to spend just to spend.
How much do you like to spend?
Depends on the item — $60 or less on a top and $150 or less on denim, shoes, and dresses.
What’s one item you've purchased recently that is so good you'd buy over and over again?
I finally caved this summer and bought a pair of Birkenstock sandals. I was a hardcore Birkenstock HATER— I thought they made me look like Fred Flintstone. After finally buying a pair, I am straight-up obsessed because they are by far the most comfortable sandals I have ever worn… and I now have three pairs. I totally get the hype. I will forever see the black Arizonas as a staple in my closet.
And one item you've had your eye on for a while but have yet to jump on?