TJ-Maxx is the most bizarre store, when you think about it

So, I had a little time to kill tonight, and I decided to walk around TJ-Maxx for a few minutes. I have gift card that needs to get used, and a little retail therapy wouldn’t be the worst thing ever.

TJ-Maxx is a store where you can go and purchase clothes from designer brands (albeit from last season or less-than-trendy colors), fragrances, Bluetooth speakers, olive oil, hair care products, small furniture, yoga mats, beard trimmers, dried apricots, children’s books, wine glasses, carry-on luggage, chocolate, knockoff Swiss Army knives, a small charcoal barbecue grill, low-grade jewelry, and boutique hand soap. 

Now, before you get all upset because you can buy all those things at Target, the difference is that Target is intended to have a wide range of items, and you can reasonably expect to find a specific item in stock, with a specific spot on the shelf, and have that item ordered if they’re out of stock. At TJ-Maxx (and its cousins, Marshall’s and Ross), it’s either in stock, or it’s not…but it’s not like Big Lots or other liquidation stores where they’ll stock basically-whatever ends up on the truck. There’s no guarantee *what* olive oil will be on the shelf, but there will be olive oil. If you like a children’s book, get it, because it’s going to be a trip to Amazon to get it if it’s gone by the next time you get there.

On the one hand, I’m having trouble imagining the episode of Shark Tank where someone pitched the idea of the set of items described above and having it work. On the other hand, apparently TJ Maxx has less trouble getting foot traffic than Macy’s does, and with half the overhead of Nordstrom, each individual sale is more profitable.

Ultimately, I don’t think it would be wisdom for me to tell them to cease carrying chocolate.

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