I worked at Ann Taylor in management for a year because I was having trouble getting a job out of college and was saving for graduate school. Let me tell you, if that brand has another ten years left in it, I would be shocked. The company is grasping at straws. They can't keep a designer, so the clothes are inconsistent. Some of the managers are paid barely more than the associates per hour. They laid off several managers as a part of a "restructuring" earlier in 2015 to cut costs, but other managers were stretched thin as a result. There is very little regard for the people who work for the company by the corporate officers. The person who was my District Manager was grossly incompetent and did not care about her employees. At one point, I asked her how to handle a difficult situation with an associate who was continually insulting clients and who ignored us when the managers addressed the issue, and she told me to, "f---ing deal with it yourself."
Even worse than the company culture were the clients themselves. They were some of the most inconsiderate women I had ever met. They felt that they deserved everything served on a silver platter, and they were convinced that if they threw fits like toddlers, they would be rewarded. There was one lady who threw a phone at me when I told her we could not honor her return from a transaction three years prior. One woman told me that I was a waste of space and I should kill myself when we didn't have a pair of jeans she wanted. When I responded that I had already tried that three times and she was a bit late, she looked me dead in the eye and said, "Try it a fourth time, then." There was at least one person every day who came in to complain about something that we couldn't control. The clients are verbally abusive and to be honest, I dreaded going into work every day.
Work at Ann Taylor as an absolute last resort. It is a company that doesn't care a bit about the people who work for it. If you're one of the women who shops there and thinks you can treat the people who work there like trash because you're unhappy with their lives, then I hope it goes out of business even faster so your lives are even more miserable than they are right now.