Yours truly discovered the power of off-price shopping this weekend in Chicago. Style expert, tv host and correspondent Alison Deyette guided me on the power of never paying full price! You may have seen Alison many times on tv. She has been featured on The View, Today Show, Tyra, Bravo’s Millionare Matchmaker and Movie and a Makeover.
Most of us turn our nose up to the thought of Marshalls out of pure ignorance. Assumptions that the products available are equal to the offerings at your local second hand shop prevent shoppers from getting deals that you can only dream of. Those assumptions could NOT be more wrong. I consider myself a deal seeking missile and I was blown away by the facts presented to me.
Here’s how: Designers will make a number of products for a garment or accessory. Let’s use Michael Kors handbags as an example. If he cranks out 25,000 bags and only 17,000 are bought out by high end retailers what happens to the rest? Marshalls and TJ Maxx swoop in to take the rest of his hands. Designers benefit due to the little known fact that all product that doesn’t sell has to be bought back by the designer! The company also opts to not mention designer names in its ads to further save money and provide even better discounts.
*Marshalls will sometimes carry items, styles and colors of items NOT available in department stores.
How is that possible?: Designers will often make their designs in several different color or print options. For example, if Calvin Klein makes a dress in tan, red, white, black and blue then a department store only buys the garment in tan, red, white and black then Marshals will buy up the option to sell the blue dress that is NOT available in the department store AND is 20%- 70% less than the department store’s price. It’s also up to season! Anything that is last season WILL say so on the tag and be on the clearance rack!
*Marshalls and TJ Maxx have the strongest buying power in the market for off price retailers and boast a weekly product supply.
It’s true. Over $10,000 in new merchandise comes in weekly. Most high end stores have turn overs on a monthly basis.
My adventure was eye opening. Everything you could dream of was there and the prices made the habit of searching for coupons to shop at department stores asinine. You don’t need coupons or have wait until Black Friday to get amazing prices on everything. Marshalls is carries everything from kitchenware to bedding. Electronic gadgets, shoes, clothes, luggage and even food goods are at your fingertips with a deep discount price tag.
These two identical ensembles were shown to us. One was full price and bought at a department store. The trench coat was by Miss Sixty, the purse by Lucky. The department store look was $215 for the coat and $178 for the bag coming to nearly a $400 total. Marshalls had the exact same look for $89 for the trench and $80 for the bag for a total of $169! That is a $230 savings you can spend on a second outfit.
On a side note, I also got to meet some fellow fashion savvy writers. Gabi from Young Fat & Fabulous was so upbeat and genuine, Whitney Middleton from Fauxshionable was so professional and gorgeous and for all the trendy young moms, Trisha Haas from MomDot was intelligent and so funny. Greet to meet y’all!