Since 1956, Marshalls has been perfecting the formula of off priced shopping and has been our go-to-place for deals since the days of pegged leg Guess jeans (which Marshalls, of course, had on sale for 60% off department store prices). The store, which is, for lack of a better word, more “down-market (a marketing word that basically means “less sophisticated”), than its sibling, TJ Maxx, has expanded in recent years to include a large shoe selection as well as an expanded home department (TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods are all own by the same company).
While Marshalls does sell things at a discount, the store isn’t a “discount store” like say a Target. For the most part, Marshall stocks current season Overstock from other department stores (seriously, sometimes the SAME exact item), which is why they can’t advertise the labels they carry (cause you would go to Marshalls instead of paying full price at Macys). The store also carries its own labels like the Kenar label (yep, Marshalls has its own store brands).
So here’s our tips for shopping Marshalls.
How to Shop Marshalls
Marshalls is Hit or Miss
Looking for an awesome pair of Jimmy Choo shoes for 50% off? Well, don’t head to Marshalls because those shoes are over at TJ Maxx. When it comes to women’s apparel, we haven’t seen many recognizable brands at the store lately. Sure, there are Calvin Klein suits and Adidas running shorts, but for most clothing items, they are mystery names, probably from previous seasons.
Keeping that in mind, you might want to put thought into what it is you want to buy so you don’t get swept up in the discount mentality of snatching up any bargain you find (remember Cost Per Wear). You will need to dig a bit for the deal.
The Shoes Are Awesome…
Shoeaholics, beware: The majority of Marshalls now have a Shoe MegaShop, which is an easy-to-browse department for men, women and kids. Similar in set-up to a DSW, the shoes are on display and then boxes with sizes are underneath. New styles arrive several times each week. There are plenty of well-known brands, including Guess, Franco Sarto, Jessica Simpson, Nine West, BCBG Generation, Kenneth Cole and Steve Madden for $34.99 to $79.99 for pumps and Via Spiga boots for $239.99. Kathryn once found a pair of Kate Spade black sling back pumps for $36.99 at Marshalls.
You’re on Your Own
There’s not a ton of customer service assistance in the store, but you can take it upon yourself to be a bargain personal shopper. But know going into the store, that, for the most part, you are completely alone.
You can’t shop Marshalls online. The website does have a handy guide to all of the store’s departments. It might be worth becoming a Facebook fan and Twitter follower to stay on-top of any special events and also look for occasional contests and sweepstakes. But there are no extra coupon offers, so you always know the price on the tag is the best you’re going to do.
Sometimes the Other Departments Rock
While the women’s fashion departments is, umm, not as great as we would like it to be (especially when compared to TJ Maxx and competitor stores like Nordstrom Rack) , we are big fans of the home department. Several Marshalls actually have HomeGood stores located within the store and if you haven’t been to HomeGoods, then you’re seriously missing out on one of the joys of life. HomeGoods is sort of like TJ Maxx for home, with amazing home accessories, furniture, pots and pans, etc for great prices.
Also Marshalls tend to have better men’s departments than TJ Maxx, with discounts on designer suits from fashion heavy-weights like Ralph Lauren. Many Marshalls also have Big and Tall sections.
Disclosure: Kathryn worked at Marshalls (which is how we know so much about the store) way back in the day and has been a paid spokesperson for the brand