Prince Harry mentioned in his memoir, “Spare,” that he loves buying at TK Maxx, and he has beforehand been photographed visiting the low cost trend chain. Princess Kate, his sister-in-law, can be a fan of the shop.
TK Maxx is the European sister firm of T.J. Maxx. They’re each owned by TJX Firms.
All of it started in Framingham, Massachusetts, in 1976 with T.J. Maxx, and the group of low cost department shops has since grown to personal manufacturers like Marshall’s, Sierra, and HomeGoods. In whole, TJX has greater than 4,700 areas all over the world.
TK Maxx arrived within the UK in 1994. It modified its title to keep away from being confused with the UK-based low cost department-store chain TJ Hughes.
TK Maxx’s mum or dad firm calls the chain “the one brick-and-mortar, off-price attire and residential fashions retailer of serious measurement in Europe.” TK Maxx additionally has shops in Germany, Poland, Austria, the Netherlands, and Australia.
As of October, TK Maxx had simply over 600 shops in Europe, whereas T.J. Maxx had near 1,300 within the US. Insider visited a TK Maxx in northern England…
…and a T.J. Maxx in Wisconsin: Here is what we noticed whereas visiting two shops separated by each a single letter — and the Atlantic Ocean.
The town heart TK Maxx in Leeds, northern England, was an enormous retailer.
T.J. Maxx was equally huge — bigger than it will appear from outdoors — however well-lit and comfortably spaced.
In Leeds the main focus was clear: Well-known manufacturers and heavy reductions. Indicators all through the area emphasised low costs and large names.
The shop used slogans like “when it is gone it is gone” to create a notion of shortage and push clients to purchase rapidly.
There did look like some nice financial savings within the UK retailer. This Moncrief bag was labeled with a advisable retail value of £1,500 ($1,830), however was on sale for £249.99 ($305).
Meantime, a puzzlingly sparse show of cross-body baggage stood throughout from an in any other case well-supplied array of handbags and purses on the US retailer.
Again on the UK retailer, garments are sorted into classes like skirts, shirts, and attire, after which displayed in response to measurement. However should you discover an merchandise that you just like that does not fit your needs, it may be a bit tough to know whether or not the shop shares it in different sizes.
The US retailer was equally grouped, with color-coded collars on hangers and bar dividers delineating the sizes of girls’s attire on clearance.
The UK shows felt slightly bit lackluster. Whereas different trend shops could use issues like enjoyable indicators, lighting, mannequins, crops, and furnishings to jazz up their shows, TK Maxx appeared content material to only let the garments do the speaking.
There have been some non-clothing objects dotted all through the womenswear – and a number of yoga mats and dumbbells among the many sportswear.
A number of the attire was additionally sorted into two particular ranges: Mod Field, which usually targets youthful customers …
… and Gold Label, which was filled with high-end garments.
And woven all through the shop had been rows and rows of clearance racks, too.
At some factors, it was onerous to inform which objects had been low cost as a result of they had been particularly being decreased to clear stock versus ones that had been low cost simply because that is TK Maxx’s promoting fashion.
The part devoted to sneakers was big, and featured manufacturers together with Adidas, Fila, Levi’s, Birkenstock, and Alexander McQueen.
However they too had been sorted by measurement slightly than merchandise sort, which meant that sneakers, heels, and rain boots had been all mixed in.
Most sneakers had been straight on the cabinets, however some had been saved in containers, which appears a bit impractical for customers. Due to the best way that TK Maxx kinds its objects in response to measurement, you don’t have any thought what may be within the containers till you open them.
The US retailer had restocking bins standing all through the shop, however these had been usually pushed effectively sufficient to the facet in order to not interrupt buying.
Plus, there have been loads of workers actively placing objects on cabinets and racks, so it did not seem as if the bins had been forgotten.
The one crowded space was within the bathtub part on the rear of the shop, the place a number of restocking carts had been shoved right into a nook.
A number of the UK retailer’s lingerie part appeared a bit uninspired …
… although we did spot some very cute nightwear from a model we would by no means heard of.
There was additionally a make-up and wonder part. Some components of this appeared very neat …
… however the make-up show, particularly, was fairly messy. A number of the containers had been opened and a few merchandise had leaked onto the counter.
There have been additionally plenty of perfumes on sale, however as a result of they had been all in safety containers you could not see what they smelled like. We did not spot any testers.
However we noticed some odd merchandise, like this snail cleaning soap …
… and a few boob lotion.
There have been fairly a couple of festive objects from The Physique Store on sale, which shocked Insider reporter Grace Dean, who cannot recall seeing the model’s objects on sale in any third-party shops earlier than. Different manufacturers TK Maxx needed to supply in its magnificence and make-up part included Essie, Revlon, Wella, Elf, Maybelline, and Max Issue.
There was a complete host of electronics, too, together with issues like hair styling instruments and hairdryers.
After all, there have been a variety of objects labeled as “remaining clearance,” too.
A number of stands, like this one for equipment on the US retailer, had been fairly labored over by clients inspecting merchandise.
The US retailer’s jewellery case, situated close to the dressing rooms, had a reasonably skinny number of merchandise.
The UK retailer additionally boasted a jewellery counter, subsequent to among the Gold Label shows.
An escalator within the UK retailer took you downstairs to males’s clothes, child’s merchandise, and homeware. Surprisingly, the primary belongings you encountered when exiting the escalator had been containers of underwear.
All of them had safety tags on, too.
The boys’s underwear part on the US retailer was equally effectively organized, although it didn’t have the safety tags seen within the UK.
The UK menswear part appeared comparatively neat.
There have been mirrors on the finish of just about each rack of clothes, which made it simple if customers needed to test if a colour suited them or attempt on a jacket with out heading to the becoming rooms.
We noticed a variety of manufacturers all through the shop, together with Superdry, Michael Kors, and Adidas. Specifically, there gave the impression to be a variety of Alexander McQueen, DKNY, and Moschino objects.
In a single nook there was an enormous show of suitcases and journey baggage, that includes manufacturers like Guess, Juicy Couture, Dune, and Polo by Ralph Lauren.
The bags part on the US retailer was simply to the left of the primary entrance, and all departments had been on the identical degree.
The children’ part boasted a variety of designer manufacturers, like Balmain, Juicy Couture, Polo by Ralph Lauren, French Connection, and DKNY. There have been additionally some objects designed by Jessica Simpson – the primary time we would ever seen her objects on sale within the UK.
The shop had an intensive homeware part – a little bit of a shock as a result of it was situated simply yards from a Homesense retailer, which is owned by the identical mum or dad firm and focuses solely on interiors. A number of the shows had been very engaging …
… together with these cushions organized by colour. This was most likely the best part of the shop – probably as a result of fewer clients flick through this stuff and transfer them round, in contrast to with garments and sneakers.
The fake-plants shelf on the US retailer was organized particularly neatly, with a pleasant eye for colour and steadiness.
The UK retailer additionally had a stand of pretend flowers close to plenty of candles and picture frames.
Contemplating there have been some stunning objects up for grabs, it was stunning that TK Maxx selected to focus on a variety of family cleansing merchandise in certainly one of its end-cap shows.
The US retailer additionally devoted a surprisingly vast space within the heart of the gross sales ground to displaying furnishings and different housewares.
There have been additionally some homeware objects you most likely would not consider coming to TK Maxx for, like an angle grinder, varied fluids for cleansing your automotive, and a few common cleansing merchandise like drain unblocker.
As ever, although, the meals part proved to be essentially the most gratifying. It was host to a complete vary of things, together with pasta, tea, espresso, olive oil, cereal bars, and far, way more.
TK Maxx is the shop to go to for a fun-flavored espresso syrup. Most UK supermarkets solely carry a couple of flavors, if any in any respect.
All through this ground of the shop, too, there have been tons of of clearance objects …
… together with many left over from Christmas.
A number of the objects appeared unsellable – like this pile of make-up introduction calendars, lots of which had objects lacking.
In-season objects, like these Valentine’s wreaths had been prominently displayed within the US retailer forward of the February vacation…
… together with Valentine’s kitchenware and pillows.
Seasonal candies and decor close to the entrance register at T.J. Maxx
Within the UK we noticed some books, too – hadn’t realized that TK Maxx offered fiction, however lo and behold, we discovered a set of Oscar Wilde novels.
A number of the clearance sections had been very jumbled, although.
The shop additionally had some fairly giant, cumbersome non-apparel objects, like these kids’s toys. There was a mini ice-cream truck and a play tent.
The youngsters’s toy choice within the US retailer was pleasantly full and diversified with out being cluttered…
… although it is simple to think about a lot of that ending up in disarray after a toddler or two have handed by way of.
Dean, who final visited the UK retailer round 15 months in the past, discovered a marked enchancment since then. “In comparison with the TK Maxx shops I remembered rising up – which all the time appeared one thing like a yard sale with their assortment of random objects in random sizes – this retailer truly appeared fairly tidy.”
All in all, the shops had been strikingly in keeping with each other, despite the gap and the letter.
Moreover, each areas appeared tidier and higher stocked than we have seen from the model in previous years. No marvel Prince Harry is a fan.