We visited a Ross and a TJ Maxx and while the former was far messier, both showed why discount shopping is the future of retail

Ross had a lot of designer purses for less.

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Ross had a lot of designer purses for less.
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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

More than 1,700 stores are already set to close in 2020 including Pier 1 Imports, Sears, Kmart, and Forever 21.

But discount stores like Ross and TJ Maxx have largely managed to avoid meeting the same grim fate as other retailers.

Ross Stores Inc. has a history of posting strong sales and most recently reported an 8% rise in third-quarter sales to $3.8 billion in November. TJX Cos., TJ Maxx’s parent company, regularly reports strong quarterly sales growth as well and various celebrities including Taylor Swift have been known to find deals at the store.

Both stores attract shoppers with large selections of designer and popular brands for less than the regular price. Both stores also sell everything from clothes to home goods, making it a convenient location to shop for a variety of occasions.

We visited a Ross store in Davie, Florida and a TJ Maxx in New York City to see check out why off-price chains are winning over shoppers. Ross was clearly messier, but both stores proved that discount shopping is the future of retail.

Here was our experience:


First we checked out a TJ Maxx in Manhattan’s Financial District.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

We walked into a clothing section first, where we noticed that the store’s design blended casual with sophisticated.

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Most of the clothing section was packed with racks arranged by size and style.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

The racks of clothes were slightly overwhelming, but they were pretty organized for the most part.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

And the prices were great. This t-shirt was less than $5.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

It wasn’t hard to find some name-brand items that also had great prices. This Vineyard Vines t-shirt was less than $40.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

In the TJ Maxx Runway section, there were some items on the more expensive side. This pink fluffy dress was $699.99.

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But most of the store was characterized by jaw-dropping bargains, like these $49.99 pink gowns.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

There was also a great selection of designer purses and bags. This Dooney & Bourke bag was only $99.99.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

There were a lot of options in the shoe section, which was organized for the most part.

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And there were various sections filled with different home goods throughout the store.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

A lot of cute items jumped out at us, like this Coca Cola tub for $129.99.

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We found more home goods scattered throughout the store, including scented candles …

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… wicker baskets …

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… and picture frames.

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We were impressed at the charming and organized displays for home goods, which we didn’t expect for an off-price retailer.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

Overall, TJ Maxx seemed to sell everything — even food.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

We felt that TJ Maxx delivered on its motto of keeping standards high and spending low. We didn’t have to compromise quality for value.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

We also stopped by a Ross store in Davie, Florida.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

At the front of the store, we could opt for a classic blue shopping cart or one of these smaller baskets to hold our items.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

We visited around the holidays, so there were some tables stocked with different toys.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

Like TJ Maxx, Ross was highlighting its inventory of designer brands for less.

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The women’s shoe section was mostly organized.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

And we found some popular, name-brand shoes here, like these Adidas sneakers.

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Nearby, we found a large section of bath and body goods.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

But we were quickly distracted by a display of bags and purses that included a lot of designer options.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

This Tommy Hilfiger bag, originally marked at $78, was going for just $19.99.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

We made our way through the store and found a jewelry counter with some eye-catching items behind a glass display.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

It didn’t take long for us to realize that Ross, like TJ Maxx, also organized its clothes on long, crowded racks.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

The racks were organized by size and style and it seemed impossible to search through it all.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

But the value was still unbeatable. We found this silver Adrianna Papell gown for just $29.99, originally marked at $199.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

Some areas of the store left a lot to be desired in terms of cleanliness.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

And in one area, the shelves were practically empty.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

A lot of areas weren’t arranged as nicely as they had been at TJ Maxx. Still, we were impressed with the variety of offerings in the store.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

Ross sold everything from artwork …

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… to food …

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… to home goods.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

Almost every item listed an original price next to Ross’ marked down listing price, which made us feel better about the value we were getting.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

The checkout lines seemed to move rather quickly, which was a pleasant way to end our visit.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

Even though Ross was slightly more disorganized than TJ Maxx, the value and variety offered at both stores made it clear why shoppers are choosing off-price chains.

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Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider