I got the chance to go to Memphis with my dear friend, Candy, last weekend. It was our second trip and we've decided to make it an annual thing for our birthdays (once in Oct/Nov for hers and once in June/July for mine). Our original reason for REALLY wanting to go last October was to hit the Pottery Barn outlet in Memphis. Since this was our second visit in a year, I thought it might be helpful to others to tell about our experience.
When we went in October 2008, we drove down on Sunday arriving at PB about two hours before they closed. We found a few things, but decided to head back on Monday morning when they opened. We hit the JACKPOT on Monday morning and some of the highlights were white armchairs for your desk that retailed for $379. We got them for $59.97! I also found the NFL quilt that is currently being sold in the Pottery Barn Teen catalog for $50 in full/queen size. Candy totally got the best deal when she found an anywhere chair cover already embroidered with her son's name for next to nothing. They had this whole section of items that had been embroidered that had been returned so we were super pumped when she found something with her son's name on it! My favorite find of the day was the Pottery Barn Kids art table complete with the hutch that has the rolls of paper to color on. I got the whole thing for under $200.
Fast forward to this July. Again, we went on Sunday but got there earlier in the day. We immediately noticed that the prices seemed higher, especially when we found the same table that I had bought in October for under $200 priced at $731. Seriously? I am not even sure it cost that much in the regular store! They were also remodeling and had completely taken out the section with the returns with embroidery. They were offering an additional 20% off the lowest ticketed price on outdoor furniture and any bedroom furniture. We both agreed that their selection was MUCH better on furniture, but the prices were really high...seriously, close to retail. We left without spending a dime, but again decided to head back on Monday morning when they opened. Although I didn't find anything, Candy hit the jackpot Monday morning and found a GORGEOUS dresser for close to 75% off retail. That was THE item she was really looking for so it was definitely a big WIN!
So, here's my advice if you are making the drive to Memphis to go to the outlet. First, call ahead and have them add you to their email list. It is seperate from the "normal" emails you get from Pottery Barn. They will email you when they do specials, additional percentages off, etc. Second, call ahead if you are looking for something specific. We saw them answer the phone multiple times where someone was asking for something specific and they even encourage you to call. If you have your eye on something in the catalog, it can't hurt to call and see if they have it there. We figured your saving at least 20% by buying at the outlet. Third, make your list of what you REALLY need. It would be VERY easy to get off track and blow your budget in there so make sure you are really sticking to a design plan, etc. otherwise you could definitely end up with buyer's remorse and their return policy isn't great. We also found Halloween costumes that were in the current catalog last October so definitely keep that in mind if you plan to pay full price in the catalog!Their phone number is 901-818-9770.
Another thing to keep in mind is that they are now connected to a West Elm outlet and the Williams Sonoma outlet is on the other side. You will definitely want to put directions in your GPS because it is a little off the beaten path. So, if your in Memphis, definitely check it out and leave a comment with your experience.