Designer Confession: I Love Shopping at Big-Box Stores

Don't mind me, I'll just be over here browsing the dollar bins.

I support local businesses, deep down admire creative artisans and love vintage and thrift stores more than almost anything in the world. Well, almost anything. Except for big-box stores.



Woman Shopping Houseware in Department Store Display

Photo by: Photo: YinYang

Photo: YinYang

I can't help myself. In fact, I'm not even ashamed to admit it: Marshalls is my mecca, HomeGoods is my church, Costco rocks my world and Target…don't even get me started on Target. I love shopping at big-box stores, and here are all the reasons why.

Everything is Under One Roof

I wouldn't have predicted that I'd enjoy shopping for throw pillows and toothpaste at the same time, but the truth is I really do. It's fun to be able to buy cardigan sweaters, lamp shades, mascara, party favor bags, coffee pods and mouthwash all at once. Depending on the store you're visiting, you can potentially cross two to three other stops off of your to-do list.

Bargain Basement Prices

As someone who has managed to find a small stool I loved on 1stdibs that cost $17,000, I can certainly appreciate those vintage splurge pieces that you just can't live without (for the record, the stool was for a client, and even she thought it was too expensive despite being super fab). But the discount prices at big boxes always make me swoon. Oftentimes you'll find the exact same items that you might have been scoping out at a department store for way less.

You Know What to Expect

While you don't always know what will be in stock at your favorite big-box store, you do know what to expect out of the experience. Things are well organized and well lit, and if you see anything you like you can just throw it into your shopping cart. If you're like me, you can probably direct people around the store to various departments as well as some of the employees could. #trueconfessions

Big Box Doesn't Mean Boring

Because big-box stores stock so much inventory (that's constantly turning over), the variety of items to choose from is staggering. Of course, there's still the possibility that you'll find the same Kate Spade mugs you found on sale at Marshalls at your friend's house, but also: no one may ever figure it out. Shopping at big-box stores allows you to create fun high/low decor and furniture combinations that aren't easily replicated.

They're Flexible

Sometimes a giant pink furry pillow seems like a good idea in the store, but then I get home and realize that I actually hate giant pink furry pillows. As long as you're within your return window you can simply bring the items back. In addition to fairly flexible return policies, some stores will even price match.

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