- TJ Maxx and Burlington are both thriving.
- The variety of products, low prices, and increased demand for off-price products is part of the reason why.
- TJ Maxx’s parent company, TJX Companies, reported on November 20 that comparable sales were up 9% at TJ Maxx and Marshalls in the most recent fiscal quarter.Burlington reported on Wednesday that comparable sales were up 4.4% in the third quarter.
- We compared shopping at TJ Maxx and Burlington, and the winner was clear.
Off-price retailers are thriving as department stores struggle, and TJ Maxx and Burlington are no exception.
TJ Maxx and Burlington are both well loved by shoppers for a number of reasons, including the low prices both stores have on a huge variety of products.
TJ Maxx’s parent company, TJX Companies, reported on November 20 that comparable sales were up 9% at TJ Maxx and Marshalls in the most recent fiscal quarter. Likewise, Burlington reported on Wednesday that comparable sales were up 4.4% in the third quarter.
Both stores are benefiting from a disappearing middle class and a higher demand for budget options – two factors that have been hurting traditional department stores. In addition, because most TJ Maxx stores are located in suburban strip malls rather than shopping malls, it’s less likely to be affected by the declining foot traffic that has hurt malls and the retailers that depend on them.
While Burlington has 679 stores in the United States, TJ Maxx has more than 1,200.
When we visited New York locations of the two stores, we found that both of them carried name brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors at prices of $US35 or less. However, both stores were very cluttered.
But one store was better than the other for a key reason:
Burlington, in New York’s Flatiron District, was my first stop.
Christmas decorations and other seasonal products were set up to the left of the entryway.
Women’s clothing was on the right.
The aisles of women’s clothes seemed to go on forever.
The aisles were very narrow. It was impossible for two people to walk past each other without knocking something over.
There was an overwhelming amount of clothing to go through. The store carried brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, and Michael Kors, and most products were under $US35.
There were tons of jeans …
… jackets …
… and clearance products.
In the back of the store was a maze of handbags from brands like Juicy Couture and Betsey Johnson.
There were also a few aisles of makeup and beauty products …
… and even more women’s clothes. A lot of the displays in-store were pretty messy.
There were a lot of snacks and small products for sale by the register, which had a very long line.
I took the escalator up to the second floor. The line was very long upstairs as well.
There were a few aisles of shoes …
… but a lot of shelves were empty.
The second floor also had toys and kids’ clothing …
… more clearance products …
… and a ton of men’s clothing. The store was very no-frills.
There was a tailor shop in the back of the floor, though the area around it was cluttered and messy.
I was surprised to see the store had even more on the next floor. Upstairs, there were women’s coats …
… infant and toddler clothes …
… and a lot of baby products like car seats and strollers.
Home products were also upstairs.
It wasn’t the nicest store to shop in. It carried a ton of clothing, home products, and everything in between, at low prices, but it was very dark and dingy. The carpets were dirty, some of the lights were flickering, and it felt very cluttered.
Next, I went to TJ Maxx in the Financial District.
The store had a much different atmosphere than Burlington right off the bat.
There were still long, narrow aisles of clothes to go through …
… but it was much brighter, cleaner, and better organised than Burlington. The two stores carried most of the same brands, and the prices were comparable.
TJ Maxx carried a ton of beauty products for the same prices as Burlington, but TJ Maxx had a greater variety of brands to choose from. The displays weren’t quite as messy.
There were also handbags …
… toys …
… and shoes on the first floor.
On the other side of the first floor, I found a small clearance section …
… and menswear.
There were a lot of similar products to choose from, but it was much less overwhelming than Burlington.
Downstairs, there were pots and pans …
… and a ton of other home products.
It felt a little cluttered. Prices were about the same as Burlington on most products.
By the register were small products and snacks, and the line was moving pretty quickly.
Both stores carried a ton of name brands at low prices, but TJ Maxx was more organised and brighter. It also had shorter lines and was an overall better shopping experience when we visited.
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