This week, thanks to the fabulous Victoria from Rocket XL (aka @happysquid), I scored a last minute invite to the TJMaxx/Marshalls Off-Price 101 Mom Blogger event, held practically in my backyard (actually Framingham, MA). I had the chance to meet 21 other amazing bloggers, as well as the TJ Maxx/Marshalls team, and PR professionals from Ogilvy PR and Rocket XL. I’ve posted about the personal aspects of the events on Multitasking Mommy, but here I wanted to really focus on my learnings from the event.
Did you know that 85% of the merchandise at TJMaxx & Marshalls is CURRENT SEASON? I really had no idea – I guess I just assumed most of it was prior season. That means you may be able to purchase significantly discounted items at TJMaxx or Marshalls that department stores are selling at full price!
Also, only 5% of the merchandise at TJMaxx & Marshalls is considered seconds. Those items are clearly marked, so you know what you are buying. Also, it pays to keep revisiting the stores, because they get shipments 4-6 times per week, and over 10,000 pieces of merchandise are delivered each week.
Do you know what the differences are between the stores? Well, TJMaxx’s offer more accessories as well as a section of the store called The Runway with real designer merchandise (not available in every store). Marshalls has the shoe megastore, a larger mens’ department, a juniors’ department called “the Cube” with hip merchandise, and beauty products.
During the event, we had the chance to see some new fall fashions. Big trends this fall seem to be large “signature” necklaces, belts, plaids and prints, and loop scarves. We also saw the buyers floor where the buyers look at samples and decide which items to purchase (hint: visit stores often!). They also showed us some gorgeous Halloween costumes at an amazing price-point that will be available starting mid-September.
At the end of the event, we were given generous gift cards to do our very own shopping! At TJMaxx, I bought a sweater wrap ($19.99) which the fashionable Michele of One Chic Mama suggested I pair with a belt since I’m petite. I found a Calvin Klein belt ($16.99) and a pair of leggings ($9.99) to complete the look. I also purchased a fall coat for my daughter ($19.99), a CARS toy for my son ($6.99), and two sets of My Little Pony Ponyville toys ($14.99 & $9.99).
At Marshalls, my big purchase was a delicate pair of gold Stuart Weitzman sandals for $49.99. I also found a stylish tank for $16.99, a Spiderman blanket for my son ($6.99), a brown hooded sweater wrap ($19.99), a convertable dress/skirt ($16.99) and a set of socks ($2.99).
I’ve definitely learned it pays to stop in the stores on a regular basis. Luckily, the stores we shopped are my “home” stores, so I know exactly where I’ll be headed on a weekly basis!