10 Things You Didn't Know About... T.J. Maxx
Ever wish you knew more about your favorite stores? Like when are their biggest sales and where do they get such great items? Those pressing questions will be answered in this blog in a regular feature called 10 Things You Didn't Know About (insert your favorite store here). E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know some insider knowledge about your favorite store. I'm calling the stores directly and getting answers you can't find their Website. I'm starting with T.J. Maxx, whose spokespeople explained how they're able to offer such great deals on the same stuff as department stores.
1. Don't be surprised if you find the same merchandise at T.J. Maxx and Macy's on the same day but with a significant price difference. That's because T.J. Maxx is an off-price buyer, which means they benefit from ordering mistakes made by mainstream retailers and over-production of items by the clothing makers. Off-price companies buy that excess merchandise. So if a vendor has enough fabric to produce 600,000 blouses but a department store only ordered 500,000, off-price buyers will purchase the extra 100,000 blouses. It doesn't necessarily mean that T.J. Maxx's inventory is from last season. They promise that at least 85 percent of it is in season.
2. T.J. Maxx, whose parent company also owns Marshalls and Home Goods, is the largest off-price retailer in North America and competes closely with Ross and Big Lots.
3. T.J. Maxx buyers only look for merchandise that can sell for up to 60 percent less than what the department stores sell it for.
4. The only sales you'll see at T.J. Maxx are at the end of the season when all the merchandise that hasn't sold goes on clearance. Anything that isn't sold at clearance is donated to charities.
5. Buyers for T.J. Maxx negotiate with more than 10,000 vendors in more than 60 countries for merchandise.
6. Despite popular perception, less than 5 percent of T.J. Maxx's inventory is imperfect.
7. T.J. Maxx gets three to four shipments of 10,000 new items each week.
8. T.J. Maxx has a high-end boutique called Runway at Maxx within some of its stores to sell clothes from American and European designers. New shipments come in from abroad weekly. Locally, only stores in Alexandria and Vienna have Runway at Maxx so far.
9. T.J. Maxx sells 14-carat gold, sterling silver and semi-precious stones.
10. You can sign up for "What's In" alerts, which are heads-up from other shoppers when they spot certain designers like Dooney & Bourke and Roberta Gandolfi at the local T.J. Maxx.
What deals have you found at T.J. Maxx? Have you ever bought something there that you saw at a department store? Which store has the better stuff -- T.J. Maxx or Marshalls? Have you shopped Runway at Maxx yet? Post a comment and share your experience.
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