TJ Maxx & Marshalls: A Fall Preview of Off-Price

It’s Jen! Author of the socially-conscious lifestyle blog, Awakened Aesthetic. Lindsay and I worked together on this awesome project with Marshalls. See the rest of my Broke & Beautiful posts here!

Hey all!  I’m fresh back from Boston, where I represented Broke & Beautiful at the TJ Maxx and Marshalls Fall Preview event, held at their headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts.

I was surprised at how much I didn’t know about TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and the world of off-price.  There’s a lot to it, so I’m just going to jump right in.

One of the TJX buyers with some Fall ’10 trends: neutrals, grays and lots of metal, fur and lace detail.

TJ Maxx and Marshalls are off-price.  They’re not department stores, and definitely not discount stores. …and that’s not just PR bullshit.  The difference is in the way Maxx and Marshalls buy.

  • While discount stores buy unsold leftovers from department stores,  buyers for TJ Maxx and Marshalls contact the designers directly.  That means no middle man, and no middle man means no markup.
  • So they buy like department stores, directly from designers…but department stores buy months in advance, and TJ Maxx and Marshalls buy merchandise constantly.  That means they can go to designers about the 2010 fall trends now, and get them cheaper because the designer needs room to work on their Spring ’11 line.

(A shopping tip: check the tags.  If there are any past season or damaged items – it’s rare – are clearly marked.  Anything else is current season.)

The bloggers are salivating.  This year, jackets are going the way of long wood and short leather. Structure is definitely in.

TJ Maxx and Marshalls’ customer base is filled with…me.

  • The people that shop these stores most are women in their late twenties, thirties and forties, with a middle-to-high income.
  • They like shopping – they have to.  Lower price points come with a catch: skimping on customer service.  The customers that keep coming back are the ones that “enjoy the hunt.”

I was skeptical about all this customer stuff – they’re like me? yeah, right – until I went to the Marshalls by my house: Seven jeans, Calvin Klein dresses, Nine West shoes.  (I even saw some Kelsi Dagger wedge booties for 49$ – off of $160.)  I feel like a shopping failure for not seeing it before.

Price check on isle Maxx.  The buyers ran to local department stores and brought us fresh merchandise to compare.  Whoa.

You have to shop at your local TJ Maxx and Marshalls to get what you want at TJ Maxx and Marshalls. The idea is to keep prices low, so these stores only carry what they know sells.  If the only things selling out are Uggs and polyester tops, that’s what TJ Maxx and Marshalls will carry.  But if a bunch of girls bomb them with off-price Prada, they’ll carry more Prada.

Yes.  Really.  Prada.

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Now that I’ve given you every reason to shop at TJ Maxx and Marshalls, here’s a silly video about how awesome Boston is.

Wondering who else, aside from me, Sandra from Debutante Clothing and Rosa from Accidental Sexiness got the inside scoop?  Check out the list below for the other bloggers invited to the TJ Maxx and Marshalls fall preview, and click the links to see what they’ve said about the event.

If you still need more reasons to shop at TJ Maxx and Marshalls, check out Target’s anti-gay rights donations, or how H&M destroys what it doesn’t sell.  (A side note: the Wal-Mart clothing was destroyed by a contractor, not Wal-Mart employees.  Wal-Mart still undermines US economy, however, so don’t shop there, please.)  Then read up on TJ Maxx and Marshalls’ charity partnerships and Goodwill donations.  I promise it will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  • Amy Rangel

    I’ve been a reader of your blog forever and this is the first time I’ve commented. I absolutely LOVE TJ Maxx! I just introduced my mom to it and now we’re both addicts. Thank you for posting the info on the “other” stores, I will no longer shop at Target and I can’t stand Wal-Mart.
    I’m still shocked it took you this long to discover TJ Maxx and Marshalls!
    Hopefully we’ll see some future posts on your shopping trips?

    Love your blog!


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  • Marg

    Thanks for the great post. I’m always trying to defend the store to my bf that thinks it’s just another discount store. You can find some great stuff there!

  • Marg: I totally know what you’re talking about. Any time I heard “TJ Maxx” before about three years ago, I kind of judgmentally laughed inside… TJ Maxx? Really?! Now it’s almost the only place I shop.

    Amy: I’m pretty sure that future shopping trip posts are a GREAT idea. Thank you! <3

  • Great recap Jen! This was definitely one of the best blogger events I’ve been to because it was with a brand I really feel good about talking about. Glad they converted you!! Glad we met. I had great time with you!!

  • New post…by me! RT @MissElle: TJ Maxx & Marshalls: A Fall Preview of Off-Price

  • Diana

    I’ve found amazing deals at both Marshalls and TJMaxx. I love them! They also have name brand perfumes by Vera Wang, YSL, Burberry, etc for much much less than department stores.

    Oh and H&M has stopped destroying clothes as of January of this year and all stores are being investigated it to ensure that they aren’t doing that.

  • Nanaya

    Your information on Walmart destroying their unsold merchandise is incorrect and misleading.
    Walmart, Sears, Kmart and Target alike, donate large quanities of family clothing, shoes and accessories along with general household merchandise to our Rescue Mission Thrift store and Disaster Programs. Hundreds on local low income children receive new clothing from underwear to cute accessories for back to school thanks to Walmart and other corporate donors. This, paired with their financial support for many programs deserves recognition and not inaccurate information as you have done.

    • Nanaya: Thank you for the information. Upon further research, it looks like a Wal-Mart contractor destroyed and threw out the clothing. We will update the article immediately.

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