- We’ve visited nearly 40 stores in the last three months. The state of each store often revealed a lot about the company’s struggles as a whole.
- Sears, Target, and the Vitamin Shoppe were some of the messiest stores we saw. But there were others as well.
- In the worst cases, stores had merchandise on the floor, overcrowded racks, broken mannequins, and unsightly objects blocking the aisles.
- Target was the messiest store we saw by far. But even so, the company is doing surprisingly well in terms of sales.
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It’s been a tough year for retail. The proof is in the stores.
Often, when a company is struggling internally, the effects can be observed in person. In the case of Sears and Bed Bath & Beyond, their announced store closures and drops in sales were not surprising after we saw the state of each store.
Both were punctuated by issues with organisation and cleanliness.
However, sometimes – as in the case of Target – a disorganized and chaotic store environment isn’t symptomatic of larger struggles for the company. For example, we visited a Manhattan Target in August and were shocked by the mess we found, but the company beat expectations in the second quarter of 2019 and reported a 3.4% growth in comparable sales.
From Urban Outfitters to Sears, here are the top seven messiest stores we’ve seen so far.
Urban Outfitters — We visited Manhattan Urban Outfitters in June and were surprised by the mess we encountered.
Even though Urban Outfitters was meant to look as if it was in the middle of construction, is some places, the theme was a little too real.
We saw a wall being painted right before our eyes while we shopped.
We also saw a shelf in the process of being constructed in the middle of the sale section.
Construction aside, mess lurked from every corner in the store. We saw cardboard boxes and empty clothing racks …
… as well as plastic bins overflowing with clothes …
Near the top of the stairs, we found a few distracting boxes labelled “trash.”
We found even more boxes throughout the rest of the store.
The fitting room downstairs was closed, but it was similarly messy.
Kohl’s — The department store has a huge following. We visited a store in a Jersey City, New Jersey mall.
The store was fine until we made it to the kid’s clearance section, where we found racks overflowing with clothes in the shopping space.
We were shocked to find clothes and hangers on the floor.
There was also a table with a pile of shoes that looked about ready to topple over.
In the aisles, we saw a few carts carrying merchandise and taking up valuable walking space.
JCPenney — Like Kohl’s, we visited a JCPenney in a Jersey City, New Jersey mall.
This stack of Nike shoes looked precarious, but it wasn’t too unsightly.
As we walked around the store, we found some areas with empty shelves.
The toy section had a great, yet unorganized selection of plush Disney character dolls.
Perhaps most disconcerting, we found a mannequin near the clearance section that appeared to have its hands severed.
And in the home-goods section, we found some items scattered on the floor beside another strange-looking mannequin.
Sears — To get to the last Sears located in New York, we headed to the Flatbush neighbourhood in Brooklyn, New York.
The store was completely overcrowded with racks upon racks of clothes and many pieces were on sale.
Like in JCPenney, some mannequins here were also missing important appendages.
Mess was apparent all throughout Sears. The accessories section was pretty disturbing and featured dozens of items bursting from white cardboard boxes.
In the women’s section, we found a lone fan on the floor.
And in the men’s section, we found this back-to-school sign sadly laying on its side.
Some of the signs had prices written by hand, which gave the store an unprofessional feeling.
Upstairs in the home section, we found an almost completely empty corner.
The story was different in the intimates section, which was almost too cluttered to navigate.
The kid’s shoes section was also filled with mess and clutter.