Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ann Taylor's Smart Email

With the ongoing news about the declining economy and the dismal retail conditions, it is hard not to believe news that some stores will not be able to honor their discount coupons after January 1st. In fact, on Friday I got an email from a friend with a long list of retailers, the number of stores they were shutting down. The note indicated that any holiday deals, such as friends and family coupons/savings, would not be honored after the New Year's, since the stores would no longer be in business.

I am never coordinated enough to have the right coupon at the right store, but the email did create a short list of brands in my mind that I matched up to poor performance. Ann Taylor, one of my favorite clothing stores, was mentioned in that email.

Come Saturday, I got a note from Ann Taylor, debunking the rumors about honoring holiday deals and clarifying the reason behind the store closings.

Dear Valued Client:

It has come to our attention that false and misleading information, regarding our Company and our store closure program, is circulating on the Web, as part of a hoax to scare consumers away from purchasing gift cards. Ann Taylor is a financially strong Company that operates nearly 1,000 Ann Taylor, LOFT, Ann Taylor Factory and LOFT Outlet stores across the U.S. In January 2008, we announced plans to close some underperforming stores, as part of a strategic restructuring program to make us an even stronger Company that can continue to serve you in the future. Our gift cards continue to be a popular and great option for gifting this Holiday season and can be redeemed at any of our stores, as well as online at and We look forward to serving you again soon!

Kay Krill
President and Chief Executive Officer
Ann Taylor Stores Corporation

Ann Taylor wins points for delivering a fast, online response from a top officer in the company. Being in PR, I can appreciate all the work that must have gone into crafting the right message and targeting the right customers. I am on Ann Taylor's Insights panel as a customer who cares about the brand. I had also signed up for a store card at some point. Not sure how they exactly selected the email recipients, but they surely reached the right audience.

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