Monday, 24 June 2013
What is the point of TK Maxx?
Now, My wife loves TK Maxx. I quite like it myself in the past year or so I have bought very reasonably priced work shoes, hiking boots, jogging bottoms and a few small electrical items. What I don;t like is the lying they do. You see, TK Maxx 10-15 years ago was a very different shop. They only had a handful of stores and the central promise was that they sold branded clothing at prices way below what you would expect. They did this by clever buying. The sourced catalogue return stock, end of line items, bankrupt stock and manufacturer surplus. They bought these things at such low prices that they could sell them at 80% discount and still make a 100% mark up for themselves. Anyone interested at those types of margins should look at http://www.gemwholesale.co.uk where you can buy perfect quality catalogue return clothing from about 7% retail prices (in wholesale quantities unfortunately). Now back then, with this clever purchasing TK Maxx was brilliant. You could go in and find a pair of CK jeans that where selling in the shop next door for £120 priced at just £10 But then TK Maxx got successful. From a handful of stores they now have 240 in the UK and others across Europe. At that size it is little wonder that they can no longer source enough genuine bargain items. Today they are one of the biggest clothing manufacturers in the country. They are more likely to sell their returns and and of line items off to other retailers than purchase them any more. So what do they do? Well, like any huge clothing chain store they manufacture their own clothing. Only they are devious about it. You might see the huge posters in store saying things like "we partner with top brands" Unfortunately what this means is: The approach a premium brand known for quality, they order 100,000 pairs of jeans in Primark quality but ask the brand to stick the high quality logo on them. Then they pluck a RRP out of the air. I need to emphasis that point. The RRP that they claim a you get a percentage saving against - They make it up themselves. RRP means nothing. It has no legal basis. All it means is that TK Maxx has asked the brand they work with to put price tags saying £120 on these cheap jeans. So then TK Maxx get the jeans in their 240 stores. and put a sticker on them saying "RRP £120 OUR PRICE £15" You won't find these jeans for sale in any other store. Never in the history of the world have these jeans been sold anywhere for £120. Now, £15 isn't bad for a pair of jeans. Primark does great business in selling jeans that price - but they are honest and you know what you are getting. If you are shopping in TK Maxx ignore all the lies about RRP - they are cynically exploiting the fact that most people don't realise RRP is utterly meaningless to make you think you are getting a better deal. Have a look at the jeans, feel the quality and decide if you think they are worth the money - don't make the decision based on these fake 'savings' I bought some Karimor hiking boots from TK Maxx recently. They were £20 and pretty good quality. That is a great price and I am very pleased. What I don't like though is the lie on the label that said they should have been priced at £89. That is outright bollocks. See Sports Direct also stock the same boots for £20, I found a dozen stores online selling them for £20. What I didn't find was anywhere that at any time had ever sold them for £89. This is my call: TK Maxx - Get rid of these bogus RRPs. Treat your customers with some respect.