Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Store Review: Ross

(Since I'm always talking about great stores for discount fashion, I decided to start this new section that will review national chains so you can get a good idea of where to shop, where to avoid, and where you can score GREAT deals! Comment to this post or the most recent store review post and let me know what stores I should review!)

When I moved to California in May 2007, I'd never heard of this store before. I didn't think a clothing store with a name like, "Ross" could be worthwhile. I pictured old-lady clothes in big, bright florals. Then, I walked in.

The atmosphere is like TJ Maxx or Marshall's. A little dirty (depending on the store) some home stuff, mens and children's sections, shoes, purses, accessories, some large lots of the same clothing items organized on nice racks in the front and rows and rows of clothes all mixed together.

If you don't like to hunt for deals and you hate TJ Maxx and Marshalls, this is not the place for you. However, if you do, you will find some unbelievable deals. For the most part this store sells department-store quality items. You'll find mostly no-name middle to low end department store brands (stock formerly at Kohl's, JC Penney, Macy's, etc.) and the occasional higher end item (think Lucky jeans, Anne Klein, Steve Madden). You probably won't find a DESIGNER deal here, but, who knows, you might get lucky!

In general the prices here are incredibly cheap. And I mean cheap. Cheap, cheap, cheap. A pair of jeans $40 in Macy's? $10 here. On clearance? $5. I wanted some casual hoodies last year and found some for $3 on the clearance rack! Seriously. If you aren't picky about the season of your item (as in last year, not 10 years ago), but like decent quality, serious affordability, and you don't mind hunting, this is your store.

The selection is generally pretty good from store to store. However, depending on the area in which you live and the size of the store, the store might be messy with stock strewn about. This is most apparent in the shoe section. In some stores you can't find your size under the correct number. Or, you find one great shoe but can't find the mate in your size or any other. It can be frustrating. But, if you happen to go to a big one that isn't too crazy, you can find nice, organized shoes in many sizes. I have been to one such Ross store in LA (not sure what part). If you hate the shoe craziness, though, skip it and head straight to the clothing and home stuff. They have some cheap, fun scores and they aren't as difficult to deal with.

Overall, I give Ross 3/5 stars. They lose 2 stars because 1) They don't sell designer stuff and 2) they are messy. But, in general, you get a good deal, which is why I'm giving them a better than average rating. Now, get to shopping!