What’s New At Marshalls: Toning Shoes and Chunky Platform Sandals for Spring

Last October I wrote about how you could get the season’s must-have shoes at Marshalls, and it was so popular (and so much fun for me!), that I’ve decided to report on my Marshalls shopping trips on a regular basis!  If you go to the store this week, you’ll find everything from work-appropriate Nine West nude pumps for $34.99 and cozy Born slides for $39.99.  As usual I spotted an assortment of dress shoes and designer heels, wellies and fur boots.  But what’s news…chunky platform shoes, a hot spring trend, and TONS of toning shoes to get in shape in the new year!  As you can see above, you can pick up some of the bestselling toning sneakers, including Skechers Shape-Ups, New Balance Rock & Tone, Avia Avi-Motion iTONE.

Here are a few of my hottest finds.  I apologize for the date stamps.  I seem to have clumsily hit something on my camera in my shopping frenzy.

Roberto Cavalli platform sandals
high espadrille sandals
Embellished Kate Spade flats and heels, $99-$129
It saddened me to find this Kate Spade shoe missing its crystal bow! :(

Victor & Rolf black pumps, $99
Sam Edelman studded wedge boots, $99
Dolce & Gabbana black strappy heels, $399.99

I received a $50 gift card for use during my Marshalls shopping trip.  This in no way influences my feelings toward Marshalls, as I have been a loyal shopper there for years.  I can’t guarantee that any of these shoes will still be available in stores, since the merchandise is rotated and sold so quickly.  If you take the time to look, you really can’t find better shoe deals anywhere else!

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Shop This Season’s Must-Have Shoes at Marshalls and Fight Domestic Violence

You probably already know that I love shopping at Marshalls – you just can’t beat the deals if you know how to be a Shoptimist!  Yesterday I took a long lunch break to check out the latest arrivals in the footwear department, because until Oct. 15, Marshalls will donate $1 for every pair of shoes purchased to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. What a great excuse for us shoe lovers to shop and support a great cause!  Marshalls sent me a gift card to go shopping for this season’s must-have shoes, and here’s what I found.  You have to scroll all the way down to see what I took home with me!  Visit your local Marshalls today (or tomorrow), pick up a trendy new pair of shoes, and fight domestic abuse.

Leopard Print: Jessica Simpson leopard-print pumps, Carlos Santana blue leopard boots.  Both are pretty wild!

Over-the-Knee Boots: The first pair I’m wearing are Kelsi Dagger, but they didn’t have a price tag.  Couldn’t tell what brand the 2nd pair are, I think Jeffrey Campbell?  They had a shearling liner and clog bottoms.


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Video Review: BCBGirls ‘Gita’ Cork Wedge (The PERFECT Spring Wedge)

One of the prizes I won in the Marshalls ‘Love Affair of the Sole” contest last year was being a featured blogger on their “What’s In” community Web site for this Spring season.  Needless to say, I’ve been visiting Marshalls more lately, and today I found some Spring goodies in the Shoe MegaShop!

I was on the prowl for a pair of cute cork wedges (one of the top ten must-have shoes for Spring, for sure).  My treasure hunt was complete when I spotted these adorable (and sexy) cork wedges by BCBGirls, for only $39.99!  With the high cork wedge and combination of black and neutral colors, these shoes are both leg-lengthening and versatile.  You can wear them with a flirty sundress or a black cocktail mini, jeans or  a pencil skirt.  They are sure to become an integral part of my Spring wardrobe!

Check out pictures of all the shoes I spotted on sale over on my Marshalls blog.

For some reason, I couldn’t locate these exact shoes on the Internet (the closest I came was the BCBGirls Women’s Six Sandal).  This is an example of a shoe that you might find at Marshalls that is both trendy and hard to find.  However I did spot many other drool-worthy cork wedges on Piperlime. Find your perfect wedge here:

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Spurge or Steal TJ Maxx Contest Winner & Prices

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving!  I spent it with my family in my hometown, and I ate turkey, but I actually had more honey glazed ham this year.  Remember that tomorrow is Cyber Monday, the best day of the year to shop online.  Make sure you check the online sales out!

Prices of Steal or Splurge outfits

Here are the answers to the Splurge or Steal contest:

I asked you to leave a comment telling me which outfit you thought was the steal (from TJ Maxx) in both photos.  You should have answered Left for #1, Right for #2.

#1: Splurge: $707.99, Steal: $346.94.  The white shoes cost $99.99 at department stores, while only costing $19.99 at TJ Maxx.


#2: Splurge: $734.49, Steal: $334.95.  The purple Frye boots (which I bought) only cost $129.99, versus $279 at department stores.


Congratulations, Jennifer! You guessed right and were randomly chosen to win a Shoe Smitten Wine Glass.  I will be emailing you shortly to get your mailing address so that I can send your glass to you asap.

And kudos to those of you who also guessed correctly: Elisa, chris s, Shauna Owens, sandy, Elizabeth M., Susan Ledet.

Isn’t it amazing what deals you can find at TJ Maxx?  I highly recommend you take a shopportunity when you have some time.  You’ll be blown away by what you might find!

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T.J. Maxx & Marshalls Myths Debunked

Tomorrow I’ll be writing more specifically about both T.J. Maxx and Marshalls and how they differ (and what I bought at each store), but let me dispel a few misconceptions about these off-price retailers.

Myth #1: They carry the same merchandise.
False – Because the off-price retail model is so flexible, no two stores are ever the same, not even two T.J. Maxx stores. This is why you should shop both stores!

Myth #2: They sell mostly irregular or “seconds”.
False – The merchandise found in T.J. Maxx and Marshalls stores is first quality, on-trend and in-season. Less than five percent of the merchandise has unnoticeable irregularities (such as being made of patent leather instead of suede). They aren’t discount stores – they are all about getting great value on brand-name merchandise and passing those savings on to customers.

Myth #3: They only sell clothing from previous fashion seasons.
False – They have the same incredible brand names and styles that are in department and specialty stores right now bur for up to 60% less. Less than 15 percent of merchandise is past season, and these items are clearly marked as “past-season” on the price tag.

Myth #4: They only carry low-end brands and styles that didn’t sell elsewhere.
False – See myth #2 for explanation

Come back tomorrow for more about what I learned at the T.J. Maxx/Marshalls Overnight Event!

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How T.J. Maxx and Marshalls’ Off-Price Retail Model Works

My mom always had a fascination with T.J. Maxx, and I remember as a kid being dragged along to go shopping with her in what I saw as a disorganized discount store. Since then, I hadn’t visited a T.J. Maxx or a Marshalls…until yesterday.

As I told you before, I went to Boston for the T.J. Maxx/Marshalls Overnight Event to learn more about their off-price brands. Contrary to what I originally thought, the items sold at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls is anything but the second-rate stuff sold in discount stores like WalMart! Both chains (owned and operated by TJX) offer the same quality goods as department stores, but at significantly reduced prices. They offer labels for every budget, from DKNY and Nine West to Dolce and Gabbana, Juicy Couture, and Prada, to name a few. Come back tomorrow to see the great boots and clothes I got from their stores!

Karen Coppola, senior vice-president of marketing, asserted during the event, “We have quality goods at the best prices on the planet,” and after my visit, I have to say I agree.

Now if you’re like me, you’re wondering, how are T.J. Maxx and Marshalls able to offer such amazing deals to us?

How off-price retail works
Off-price retailers, such as T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, sell clothing and accessories from major-label brands at a significant discount. These companies take advantage of overruns, canceled orders, and forecasting mistakes made by their counter-parts in the full-price retail sector. When a major designer produces more clothing than it can sell through specialty retailers or department stores, or a store can’t move all of the items in a particular line, the excess inventory is sold at a 20%-60% discount to an off-price retailer. The company passes these savings onto consumers, marking up goods by a lower percentage than full-price stores and instead building their operating margins by moving a high volume of inventory quickly, at rock-bottom prices.

And because they move inventory so quickly, T.J. Maxx and Marshalls send their buyers all over the world to negotiate with designer merchandise vendors weekly, not seasonally like department stores do. This allows them to quickly respond to changing trends and to scoop up great deals at the last minute. Buyers travel more than 40 times per year on buying trips! This is compared to department store buyers, who only buy four times per year.

Here’s a basic rundown of how merchandise reaches the shelves at both T.J. Maxx and Marshalls:

  1. Buyers analyze trends and create seasonal plans. Let’s say they find that a purple blouse is THE item to have.
  2. Buyers set off around the world to find the perfect blouse from the thousands of designer merchandise vendors they work with.
  3. Prices are negotiated up to the last minute to ensure the best possible price.
  4. Merchandise is purchased from the vendor, processed at one of several T.J. Maxx or Marshalls distribution centers across the country, and can be sent out to arrive on store racks in as little as two weeks.
  5. The blouse reaches the rack at up to 60% off the suggested retail price. Meanwhile, the same blouse may also be on a rack at a department store nearby with a much heftier price tag attached. To maintain their relationships with vendors, T.J. Maxx and Marshalls do not put the labels sold in their stores in advertisements or other media. This also makes sense, since the inventory (and the labels carried) is constantly changing.

Come back to Shoe Smitten later tonight, when some common myths about T.J. Maxx and Marshalls will be debunked!

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Schedule of Upcoming TJ Maxx/Marshalls Madness

I learned so much during my trip to Boston for the TJ Maxx/Marshalls Overnight Event, and I know I can’t fit all of the information, pictures and video into one, or even three blog posts!  So here’s what I’ve decided to do:

Tonight, I will post the first of a series of articles about shopping at TJ Maxx and Marshalls.

  1. All About Off-Price Retail Shopping: Misconceptions and the Truth
  2. How to shop at TJ Maxx – what I got
  3. How to shop at Marshalls (yes, they are different) – what I got
  4. Splurge or Steal – you guess, and I will draw from the correct answers a winner for a giveaway!

That’s just a preview of what’s to come.  After that, we have holiday shoe gift guides!  I’m going to be one busy blogger…  ;)

Again, look for the first post tonight!


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Jet-setting to Boston

Hey everyone!  I’m going to Boston tomorrow morning for the TJ Maxx/Marshalls Overnight Event.  I won’t have internet access for two days (gasp) but I promise you, when I return Tuesday night I’ll have tons of great information to share!

I was chosen along with 10 other fashion bloggers to participate in this event. The goal of the event is really to introduce to us to their concept of off-price fashion, give us some access to TJMaxx/Marshalls people and products, and have some fun.

We’ll get to meet the brand teams at TJ Maxx/Marshalls, and have an interactive session of Meet the Corporate Teams to learn about brands, customers and off-price fashion.  Then we’ll go on to see a Splurge vs. Steal Fashion Show, participate in other fun interactive sessions, and go shopping at the stores.

It’s going to be a wild ride, and I’m so honored to have been invited by Ogilvy PR to participate!  Of course, I will have a detailed report of the trip (and all the fab shoes I see/buy) when I return.

In the meantime, stay fabulous and check out some of the shoes that have made their way onto my Christmas wish list:

Davis by Ruthie Davis Nut Runway Mary Jane Pump

Luichiny Women’s Pretty Pump

L.A.M.B. ‘Tailynn’ Sandal


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