8 Surprising Things You Never Knew About HomeGoods

Style-seeking bargain hunters have a few options when it comes to outfitting their homes with trendy yet affordable home décor. Online shopping is popular, but when it comes to true treasure hunting, there’s nothing quite like digging through a clearance end cap at HomeGoods.

You can score high-quality, name brand curtains, rugs, mirrors, lamps, artwork, large furniture, and pretty much any other home item you can imagine for a fraction of the original price when you shop at HomeGoods. And since the selection is always changing, every time you walk in the door is a new opportunity to find the ultimate bargain.

HomeGoods is a sweet spot for home decorators on a budget. But you may not realize these surprising things about the company.

1. It’s under the same umbrella as Marshalls and T.J. Maxx

he front facade of a Marshalls store
The same company owns all three stores. | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Look closely the next time you’re lucky enough to receive a HomeGoods gift card — you’ll notice in the fine print that you can also spend it at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. That’s because all three stores are owned by the same company.

Rather than providing competition for one another, they’re all working toward the same goal: convincing you that you need a ceramic rhino cookie jar.

Next: They’re not a new store.

2. It has been around since 1919

It used to be called New England Trading Company. | Dwight Burdette/Wikimedia Commons

Think shopping for discount placemats is a new concept? Think again.

The company that eventually became HomeGoods was founded by two brothers named Max and Morris Feldberg. It used to be called New England Trading Company and sold hosiery, but now the huge conglomerate of discount goodness goes by the name TJX.

Next: You probably didn’t know this about the company CEO.

3. There’s a woman running the show

Carol Meyrowitz was CEO from 2007 to 2016. | Jason Kempin/Getty Images for HomeGoods

Forbes ranked Carol Meyrowitz — TJX Companies executive chairman of the board and chairman of the executive committee — as one of the most powerful women in the world in 2015. (Meyrowitz was TJX Companies’ CEO from 2007 to 2016.) That’s not too shocking when you consider that she practically tripled company profits since taking over the company in 2007. She also increased minimum wage for TJX employees to $9 per hour.

Next: The goods come from all over the world.

4. HomeGoods works with over 17,000 vendors in 100 countries

colorful fabrics and other folk products at a roadside stall
The store has variety. | rparys/iStock/Getty Images

Many people shop at HomeGoods for the variety, and that’s all thanks to the huge number of vendors they source their products from. They’re notoriously secretive about who they work with, however, preferring to keep their “secret sauce” closely guarded against competitors.

Next: It’s not just castoffs on the shelves.

5. It deals with brands directly

Facade of Ralph Lauren flagship store
The company works directly with brands, such as Ralph Lauren. | Arseniy Rogov/Getty Images

While hoity-toity brands like Coach and Ralph Lauren may deny doing business with TJX, the fact is they’re making money by selling their excess inventory or allowing for licensed products exclusively sold at third party retailers.

“There’s a degree of wink, wink,” says Nisch, chairman of the retail branding and design company JGA told USA Today. “Manufacturers need off-price in order to survive, but they can make too much and destroy the value balance between supply and demand.”

Next: Millionaires get stuff there too.

6. Even rich people shop there

lex McCord and Simon Van Kempen attend the grand opening celebration of HomeGoods
It appeals to all types. | Jason Kempin/Getty Images for HomeGoods

The key to staying rich is to never overspend on anything — including home décor.

While the average household income of the HomeGoods shopper is right around $40,000, some regular shoppers make well into the seven figures. Regardless of budget, no one can resist a great bargain.

Next: Most items are in season.

7. The merchandise isn’t out of season

Kelly Killoren Bensimon attends the grand opening celebration of HomeGoods first Manhattan location at HomeGoods
Only a small fraction of the merchandise is outdated. | Jason Kempin/Getty Images for HomeGoods

There’s a common misconception that everything is cheaper at HomeGoods because it’s all stuff traditional retailers couldn’t sell the previous season. In reality, only 15% of the merchandise is old.

Buyers sometimes work directly with brands to license their products, or they take advantage of excess inventory that specialty stores put out months in advance and couldn’t sell.

Next: The items are comparable to specialty store merchandise.

8. The quality is about the same

Kelly Killoren Bensimon attends the grand opening celebration
There’s nothing wrong with the items. | Jason Kempin/Getty Images for HomeGoods

The name brand rug you buy from HomeGoods may differ slightly from the one you find a specialty furniture store — maybe the materials are a little different, or the pattern is slightly altered. But for the most part, you wouldn’t notice the difference.

Read more: These Are the Things You Should Never Buy at HomeGoods

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