How The Treasure Hunt At Marshalls Has Shoppers Coming Back For More

Is there anything better than a designer outfit at a discount price? You can find the best deals at stores like Marshalls and its sister store TJ Maxx, which are often referred to as "off-price retailers," per ABC News. The companies keep shoppers on their toes with the possibility of finding a hidden gem at a fraction of the original retail price — that is, if you can navigate their slightly disorganized racks. According to the company's website, Marshalls brings you the thrill of the hunt for "in-demand labels" with the promise of 20-50% off other store prices. 

Marshalls was founded in 1956 by entrepreneur Alfred Marshall (per the New York Times) and has grown to become one of the most popular off-price retailers in America, with over 1,100 stores nationwide (via Statista). With prices at Marshalls being so low, especially with all the designer brands amidst the racks, it might seem too good to be true. How could a company possibly make money with such deep discounts? The List created a graph, via Data Herald, that analyzed the foot traffic trends at Marshalls over the last two years. The information we found may be the key to understanding how the popular store provides shoppers with the best deals that keep everyone coming back for more.

The psychology behind bargain shopping

According to Marshalls' website, the company is constantly changing its inventory and varying its stock from store to store, so you probably won't find the same item twice. This encourages shoppers to visit multiple locations for a chance to find the best deals on designer clothing. According to the graph, which defines a visit as a "stay in a location for longer than four minutes," Marshalls currently sees an average of 100,000 monthly visitors. The graph illustrates a drastic dip in shoppers during the spring of 2020 when COVID restrictions were at their highest. While foot traffic has not quite reached its pre-COVID average of 120,000 monthly visitors, Marshalls remains a haven for bargain shoppers who can't resist a good sale.

It might make you wonder: What is so intriguing about a discount? Doctor Regan A. R. Gurung writes about the phenomenon of shopping in Psychology Today, explaining that "retail therapy" makes us feel happy and rewarded, so our bodies begin to crave the dopamine boosts we experience when we make a purchase. What's the only thing even more exciting than buying something new? Buying two things for the price of one. PYMNTS reports that, even if a shopper has spent hundreds of dollars, they likely feel as though they've saved money because of the number of products they acquired for that price. 

Shoppers love a challenge, and Marshalls keeps things exciting with its ever-changing inventory and irresistible discounts, making it the ultimate treasure hunt.