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Secret To Success For Off-Price Stores Is Thrill Of The Hunt, Retail Analysts Say

GLENDALE ( — It's the thrill of the hunt that retail analysts say is driving shoppers to off-price stores like Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, and HomeGoods.

Their profits are soaring while many department stores are suffering.

"One of the things that we found is that the reason that a lot of consumers are using these bargain stores is because they do like the lower prices but actually they like the experience as well," said Neil Saunders, a retail analyst for Conlumino.

Analysts say consumers at off-price stores believe they are getting a great deal for their money.

Marshalls, for instance, compares its prices with suggested retail prices on their tags.

"I'll go into Nordstrom Rack and then I'll find something that's like designer name that's like let's say $100 cheaper there than at a different store," said Hera Der-Gevorgian, a shopper.

And retail analysts say department stores sales often can't compete.

"Actually, there is a lot of stuff there that a lot of it is things that people just don't want," said Saunders. "It's sort of the tail end of product that's been around for a long time."

Another aspect retail analysts say shoppers love about these stores is that every day is different.

The constantly changing assortment of goods give shoppers a reason to visit off-price stores regularly, also boosting sales.

"I kind of come a couple times a week just to try to find the best, the best items, you know, first come, first served," said Katherine Redis, another shopper. "You've got to be quick."

Those who shop at these stores is changing too: trending younger and crossing all demographics. It's no longer just shoppers who can't afford the full priced items at department stores.

Analysts say the emotional payoff of a good deal is worth even more than the money saved.

"Here, it's just like a thrill, finding something new," said Redis. "You never know what you're gonna come up on, a little treasure."

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