Shop to the Max

On a previous blog I wrote about the Malls that you could feasibly visit on a long weekend trip to the States. Thinking about MY must visit stores that has been narrowed done over the years here is a list of my favourite places to get a Retail Thrill.

I have to emphasise that some trips are really successful and others it is a struggle to get a balance between value for money and what I actually want.

I haven’t shopped for clothes in the UK for at least 15 years, the quality is just not the same nor is the value. When the dollar is weaker the lure of seeking out bargains beckons.

Tip: Why not order from the website and pick up when you arrive saving the tax you incur in shipping to the UK? You can search for your nearest store when you have your accommodation sorted out on all the major retailers websites.


Here are my must visit stores – what are yours?

Departmental Stores

  1. J C Penney or JCP – found in most malls as well as some stand alone stores. Interestingly Junior sizes go beyond 2 X so sometimes I get stuff from the kids sections. Favourite items generally are tops for both work and leisure. I have one time been in when a bargain rail has been put right in front of me and I picked up 4 pairs of Lee jeans and Chinos for $2.00 each.
  2. Macys – Found in most higher end malls as an anchor and competition to Nordstrom or Bloomingdales. Often more upscale but there are always sale items on rails by each section. Often includes internet returns to store with massive discounts. Ask at the till for International Discount and receive an additional 10% just for being out of country. Note: Not all items are covered by the discount. I like the Karen Scott brand which I since discovered is a Macys own brand but I like the styles.
  3. Kohls – I discovered Kohls recently and these stores are more often than not stand alones and laid out in exactly the same style. I have found some real gems in Kohls, such as a pair of Dockers Bermuda Shorts that rang up at 44c…they should have been $44. You need tenacity and purpose to seek out the sale rails but I never been left disappointed.
  4. Sears – I don’t know what is happening with Sears but it has really lost it’s appeal recently. The stores often are bereft of stock and the savings inconsistent. The lighting is dim and to me it gives the impression of struggling with the competition.
  5. Big K – This chain is part of the Sears family and unfortunately my satnav keeps finding cities where they have closed down. If you find one, they are often in a rougher part of town but there is great value to be found within them.
  6. Walmart – This multi departmental dream is a tourist attraction in it’s own right. I absolutely love spending a cool hour or two discovering the best value and I always am aghast at the sheer size of their stores. They sell everything from TVs (you won’t believe the prices) to bath towels (I couldn’t really think of a sensible start and end scale for Walmart’s range). Often open 24 hours a day but I personally wouldn’t go too late into the evening or the dark. You are never far from a Walmart though.
  7. Target – I have found some great deals in Target but I find their clothing ranges expensive in the scheme of things. All the stores are laid out the same and they sell everything but Walmart is better value generally speaking.
  8. Belk – Exclusively located in the South but sales are real sales and I have found some really great bargains here. The problem is locating the stores as there are far less than JCP or Macys…or so it seems.

Tip: Pace yourself if you have the time. Don’t do all your shopping in one hit as it takes the fun away from the Shopping Opportunities.

Next will be on Outlet Stores so look out for it.