What is the truth about TJ Maxx and Marshalls? How are they able to offer lower prices on retail items and are you actually saving money by shopping there? Back in November, I was invited to a blogger event hosted at the TJ Maxx Marshalls headquarters in Boston. While there, I learned some valuable truths about how TJ Maxx and Marshalls are able to offer such amazing deals on their items, and I’m here to share it all with you!
What Is the Difference Between TJ Maxx and Marshalls?
TJ Maxx bought out their largest competitor Marshalls back in 1996. Although the buyers for TJ Maxx and Marshalls are the same, the stores are set-up differently and carry different merchandise. At Marshalls you will notice that they have a mini-shoe department with the display shoe on the top and varying sizes underneath.
If you need shoes for the entire family, Marshalls is your place! Marshalls also has something called “The Cube” which is where the trendiest items can be found.
TJ Maxx has something new and exciting in some of their stores called “The Runway”. Here you will find the hottest designers fresh from the runway. Be sure to search around the store for clearance racks from the Runway because some amazing deals can be found!
Do Lower Prices Mean Lower Quality? Are These Clothes “Seconds”?
I was surprised to learn that less than 5% of the clothing sold at TJ Maxx / Marshalls is a “second” rate item. If the item has any kind of defect, the item will be clearly labeled as such. However, for the most part, the quality of the products compares to the quality you find in department stores. TJ Maxx and Marshalls sell things “off-price” meaning at a great discount to you all the time. Here are some of the ways that prices are able to be a consistent 30-50% off of retail:
- Open store floor plan cuts cost of merchandising.
- Buyers buy constantly, not in advance, and not with a prescribed brand in mind.
- Stores do not advertise for name-brands and therefore do not have to pay for these advertising costs.
- Buyers take advantage of misorders. For example, a manufacturer accidentally placed bronze buttons on a designer’s coat instead of the requested silver. The coat is still a designer coat and nothing is wrong with it’s workmanship or quality. It was just not made to the exact specifications of the designer.
- Buyers are able to buy items last minute and restock each store with 10,000 new pieces of merchandise a week! Many department stores order 5-6 months in advance. TJ Maxx and Marshalls’ buyers can swoop in a month before a new season and make a deal.