When it comes to favorite value fashion retailers, T.J. Maxx and Target tie for the top spot, according to a retail study from Market Force Information (Market Force), which polled 10,821 consumers in the U.S. and Canada.
The study finds that T.J. Maxx and Target tie as the No. 1 value fashion retailers, with Nordstrom Rack ranking second and Burlington third. Burlington also ranks highest for selection, sizes, creating looks, and understanding shoppers’ needs.
The study ranks value fashion retailers overall, as well as areas such as merchandise selection, customer service and e-commerce. Only retailers with at least 100 locations were included.
The survey was conducted online in December 2017. Within the survey pool, 6,759 reported shopping for fashion at a favorite retailer within the past 90 days, and 5,109 reported shopping for shoes within the past six months. There was a broad spectrum of income levels, with 54% indicating incomes of over $50,000 a year. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to over 65. Approximately 73% were women and 26% were men, according to Market Force.
Nordstrom Rack, a close second
Even though T.J. Maxx fell 8 percentage points over last year, it still earned a 47% score on the Composite Loyalty Index to tie for first with Target, which saw the biggest gain of all the value fashion retailers studied.
Nordstrom Rack — the discount arm of Nordstrom, which was named consumers’ favorite premium fashion retailer — was a close second with 46%. Burlington landed in third place with 45%, while Marshall’s, Ross Stores, and Walmart ranked fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
Burlington boasts best selection
Market Force also looked at value fashion retailer attributes that matter most to consumers and impact where they shop. Ross earned the top spot for value for money spent, a category in which Walmart ranked last, surprisingly, according to Market Force.
Target scored highest for atmosphere, ease of finding items and checkout speeds. Burlington performed well in the merchandise categories, ranking highest for selection and the ability for shoppers to create a look. Although T.J. Maxx failed to dominate in any one category, it performed consistently well across the board.
Not always about price
Although Market Force found value to be the biggest influencer in choosing where to shop, service is also an important consideration, and just 43% reported being helped by an associate during their last shopping trip.
Nordstrom Rack associates assisted customers most often, however, shoppers gave higher marks to Burlington, Target and Ross for understanding their needs and suggesting relevant items. Marshall’s ranked lowest for helping and understanding shoppers., states Market Force.
“Nearly half of those surveyed have shopped at a physical retail store at least three times in the past 90 days, typically to enjoy a great in-store experience and to hunt for a good sale,” says Brad Christian, chief customer officer for Market Force. “However, it’s not always about price, even in the value apparel realm. Customers also want attentive and helpful service, and that’s one area where these discount retailers can and should bridge the gap with their premium counterparts.”
Target wins at e-commerce
While many consumers like to shop in-person at discount and off-price stores, e-commerce continues to be an important channel for retailers competing with Amazon.
Market Force found that Target — which saw 29% year-over-year online sales growth in Q4 2017 — received the most website visits and purchases, and delivered the best online experience. Fifty-one percent reported visiting its website in the previous 90 days and, of them, 72% made a purchase. Walmart’s and Nordstrom Rack’s websites were each visited by 40% of study participants, and nearly two-thirds made online purchases from them, according to the study.