I’m a big fan of discount shopping. At least a third of the clothes in my closet probably come from Marshalls, TJ Maxx and their fellow big box discount stores. So when a PR rep from Marshalls contacted me about doing a review of their new Shoe Megashop in exchange for a $50 gift card, I thought the assignment sounded right up my alley.
Shopping for shoes in discount big box stores (hereafter abbreviated DBB) can be kind of hit-and-miss. What you usually find are several racks crammed with a jumble of shoes more or less arranged by size. This kind of shopping appeals to the treasure hunter in me, but I admit it can be time consuming. When I lived in Charlotte, I used to buy my shoes at DSW, which has the shoes arranged by category and carries several sizes of each style. Stein Mart had been the only DBB to use this kind of display, and now Marshalls has followed suit.
Marshalls falls in the crowded zone between TJ Maxx’s cheap & trendy and Stein Mart’s nice & frumpy. It makes sense they’d want to differentiate themselves from Ross and Kohl’s, and the Shoe Megashop is one way to do that. Did they succeed? I visited the Marshalls out on Harbison Blvd. to find out.
Shoes, Shoes, Shoes
The new Shoe Megashop takes up almost a quarter of the store. It has a much, much wider selection than Stein Mart’s shoe section, despite the similar layouts. The shoes are arranged by type, just like at DSW: women’s dress, women’s casual, children’s, men’s dress and casual. And for those who still love the treasure hunt, there is a large clearance rack that wraps around the aisles of shoes.
I thought they had an excellent selection of brands. There were plenty of good department store brands such as Anne Klein, and I even found a few pairs of Born sandals (sadly, none in my size). I was also impressed by the prices. I often find when I shop that I have unrealistic ideas about how much something ought to cost, but these shoe prices were all within what I would be willing to pay at a DBB (generally, 50% off "retail"), and the clearance prices were even less.
With my $50 gift card I was able to buy three pairs of shoes, two for me and one for my little boy. Would I make the Marshalls Shoe Megashop my destination for shoe shopping? I’m not sure, there are still a lot of discount shoe specialty stores nearby. But I do know that if I needed to put together an entire outfit or if I were shopping for both clothes and shoes on the same trip, I would definitely shop at Marshalls. The layout of their new shoe department does save time, and the wider selection means I’d have a better chance of finding what I was looking for than I would at other DBBs.