Walmart continues to see its same store sales grow as people trade down from more expensive stores. Meanwhile, Macy’s, Kohl’s and Nordstrom are all hurting. [CNNMoney]


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  1. thatblackgirl says:

    Nordstrom is hurting because they’re expensive. Macy’s and Kohl’s are hurting because their offerings are poorly made and unattractive.

    • samurailynn says:

      @thatblackgirl: I don’t think of Kohl’s as being part of the upper end of the shopping spectrum… They’re a tiny step above Wal-Mart and far below Target. But that’s just my opinion from the couple of times I’ve been in one.

  2. nevets68 says:

    The ironic thing is that my significant other works for Kohl’s and says that the store is constantly busy.

    • Clobberella says:

      @nevets68: Yeah, the one near me is too. It’s also pretty cheap and they’re constantly running sales. Maybe not as cheap as Wal-mart, but comparable to Target, and with a better selection.

  3. thepassenger says:

    If people are trading down from those stores it’s probably mostly apparel and home stuff. I could maybe see buying towels at Walmart, but does anyone really shop there for clothes, like, intentionally?

    I don’t shop at Walmart (a) on principle and (b) because there isn’t one close enough to where I live, but if I were forced to trade down, I would spend a little time looking at eBay before heading to a cheapo store. In the past month I’ve gotten two new cashmere sweaters on eBay, one from J. Crew and one a Dillard’s house brand, for $20 each.

    • varro says:

      @thepassenger: Actually, Consumer Reports rated the Faded Glory (Wal-Mart’s house brand for jeans and casual wear) fairly highly.

      • Outrun1986 says:

        @varro: I have had good experiences with walmart jeans in the past as well, if you get one of the 10$ pairs and not the real fancy ones. I recently shopped and Kohls and I honestly think walmart’s quality of jeans was better, I have NEVER seen such paper thin cheap looking jeans than the sonoma brand ones I found at Kohls.

        If your paying 20$ for your jeans at Walmart then you should be shopping elsewhere (and you can likely find a pair for less on a clearance at another store), but to pay 10$ for a pair of jeans there is fine.

        I bought a pair of shorts at walmart last year, when I am shopping for shorts, I am going to take whatever fits since its hard to find that perfect fit, its easier to find jeans. It just so happens that the walmart shorts fit so I bought them. Besides I live in NY where we get more use out of jeans and capri’s than shorts, I am not going to pay a lot for a pair of shorts that I will only wear 10 times a year or maybe less.

    • leprendun says:

      @thepassenger: I buy jeans and t-shirts there all the time. I don’t buy buttoned shirts though because they usually don’t fit well for whatever reason.

  4. Canino says:

    Ya the Kohls near me is in a pretty nice area and it always looks like the inside of the store has been hit by a hurricane. Feels like the entire store is a big walk-in bargain bin. Yuk.

  5. N.RobertMoses says:

    I couldn’t see buying anything at Walmart. I rather pay more money for stuff not made in China that will last than something produced by Chinese slave labour that won’t last six months.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @N.RobertMoses: Does it matter? Even the brand names you buy are made in China too. They just cost less at Wal-Mart.

      I usually just shop there for perishables or toiletry products. No use paying more for papertowels and stuff when its cheap.

  6. friendlynerd says:

    I like Kohls but I think they would do well to cut the crap with their marketing. If it’s not 50% off at Kohl’s it’s not worth bothering.

    I would love to know how much of their mdse ever sells at “full price” considering there is ALWAYS some huge blowout “sale” there.

  7. TecmoTech says:


    Walmart sells many American products. They also sell food, which is just as good as is sold anywhere else.

  8. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    @TecmoTech – Ratings don’t always matter if the clothing won’t actually fit you properly.

  9. am84 says:

    I’m surprised to hear that Kohl’s is struggling. It seems like my mom is ALWAYS at her local store – she thinks it’s the greatest place ever, and basically buys everything possible there.

  10. Eldritch says:

    I can’t stand Wal-Mart. The few times I’ve been in one, I wanted to take a shower afterwards. I don’t care how broke I am, I will always shop at Target.

  11. zentex says:

    and this is exactly why I told my Mom-in-law last month to keep all her WM stock instead of cashing out for a quick buck.

  12. JimK says:

    I do so enjoy the class snobbery on Walmart threads. Much of which comes from people who have never stepped foot inside one.

    God bless hipster know-it-alls on the internet.

    • leprendun says:

      @JimK: Yes, I especially hate the people that call all Wal-Mart shoppers “mouth breathers.” The pattern I generally see here is they don’t shop at Wal-Mart because they supposedly use sweat shop workers (i.e., the foreign and lower class) and treat their workers unfairly (again, usually lower class), but then they turn around and degrade the generally lower-class people that shop there. The hypocrisy is astounding.

  13. chipslave says:

    The Kohl’s here is always crazy busy. I won’t set foot in there it is always too busy, but my mom loves it, just like others have posted. :)

  14. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    I absolutely love the clothing that I’ve bought from Kohl’s (I have dress skirts from there that have lasted for almost 2 years after being worn and washed often, I wish I could find them again) but I second whoever said their store looks like it was hit with a hurricaine. My local Kohl’s is also staffed with bitchy old ladies, but it’s a good source for office clothing for me.

  15. theblackdog says:

    @Jimk: Actually I lived in towns where the only place to shop for non-food items was Wal-Mart, now that I live somewhere that I can choose other stores to take my money to, I’d rather shop at those.

  16. TEW says:

    I love Wal-mart. I think their clothing is a very good deal. I have worn their store brand jeans for a year or two now and they last much longer then some of my “high quality” name brand jeans. The best advice I have ever heard was that you are never too good to clean up someone else’s s**t. After hearing that five or six times you realize that having a Wal-mart tag instead of a name brand is not that big of a deal.

  17. snoop-blog says:

    Yeah I live < 1 mile from Walmart so it is my local grocery. Plus I’ll stop shopping there when A) I hit the lottery or become rich, or B) when someone else starts to sell shit cheaper. Until then, rock on wal-mart. I love Sam’s Club as well.

  18. Trencher93 says:

    What’s sad is K-Mart could do very well if they would just match Wal-Mart, because so many people don’t like Wal-Mart. If K-Mart would just put some products on the shelves occasionally, open checkouts so you don’t have to go to jewelry/service desk/etc, and have even moderately friendly people, they could get by just on the I-don’t-like-Wal-Mart crowd. Plus K-Mart could play up the “Made in USA” Craftsman line (well, some of it is still Made in USA) if they would put more of those tools in their K-Mart stores (and have the ones they do carry in stock!).

    What I didn’t like about Target is they have a very, very limited product selection compared to K-Mart and certainly Wal-Mart.

    • leprendun says:

      @Trencher93: I never go to Wal-Mart unless it’s really early in the morning because it’s always so crowded. I love K-Mart because there are NEVER any people there! Unfortunately, this usually includes the front check-outs, but the wait is worth it.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I was under the impression that the linked article would mention Kohls/Nordstroms but there was nothing. Why not mention the 5 other stores actually in the article instead?

  20. ElizabethD says:

    I am wearing the cutest long brown leopard-print crepe scarf right now (not the cold-weather muffler kind; the kind you wear with a nice outfit) that people always comment on and assume I bought at Talbots or Nordstrom.

    I bought it, and a similar black/white zebra print one, for $5 each at Wal*Mart a year ago.

    Just sayin’ … you never know.

  21. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    My biggest problem with the womens section at Kohls is that their juniors department (yes, I’m still young enough to pick from the juniors department) is terrible and cheap, but their adults department seems like it was taken from south Florida where the retirees go get their weekly perm. And their attempts to be stylish get drowned in a sea of clothing that is far too old in style for anyone in their mid to late 20s who wants to dress their age, and the department aimed at next youngest demographic is too cheap and poorly made to constitute any kind of investment.

    I’ve gotten a few pairs of pants from the juniors department, and those have been really good. But overall, any “dressy” items you think you can save money on by going juniors like with business suit jackets or dress pants (think job interview, not business casual) is terrible quality.

  22. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    @Trencher93 – I agree that Target seems to have less product selection than Wal-Mart…but Wal-Mart really is trying to become the big box store for EVERYTHING, whereas Target is not. Target is focused on having enough of everything you may need, but also focused on having an expanded section and better quality of the things you may want the most – namely, Target has made itself a good place to go for stylish and trendy clothing that does not cost a lot. By now a lot of people have realized that trends come and go, and the best way of keeping up with them for cheap is to buy something for less…you’ll also miss it less when they go out of style (think uggs at $80 or Target ones that look pretty similar at $20).

  23. HooFoot says:

    Kohl’s is good for getting basics at bargain prices. The pants and t-shirts that I have bought from them over the years have held up well through dozens of washings and lots of wear.

    I buy gym socks and boring, no-frills panties from Wal-Mart’s clothing section. They have also held up quite well.

  24. Stephen Brooks says:

    I work at kohls. Its busy at times. This is probably one of the slowest times though. We are getting some people in because they do the 30% scratch off coupon thing. I usually buy all my clothing there because I get such good deals watching the prices when I work and then buying on huge sales. I won’t spend big bucks but I will wait till clearance and buy shirts / pants for around 5 bucks before discount. I can’t beat the prices anywhere and the quality for me is above my local walmart and target. I spend around $7 for a pair of jeans on sale and I average around $5 a shirt. Not to bad considering its usually nike and urban pipeline apparel…

    You can’t beat the prices at kohls but the stores might look trashy depending. My store is always clean.

    I’d say Kohls would do better if they offered more expensive clothing and got rid of some of their crap brands that in my opinion only attract the african americans in our area. I’m not trying to be racist but alot of brands they sell here are targeted at them and they don’t shop there still.

  25. Outrun1986 says:

    I have found Kohl’s clothing to be incredibly cheaply made and EXPENSIVE. Especially their house brand sonoma. I have never seen such cheaply made jeans in my life, not even at walmart. Their pricing scheme is just meant to toy with you, and frankly I don’t have the time. A pair of shoes will be 30$ one week and the next week back up to 60$, for the exact same thing. How do I know they aren’t going to half the price of the item I just bought next week, or they might raise it to more than the current price. I don’t want to get ripped off but I want to save as well! This pricing model just does not work for me.

    Their store is horridly disorganized, and they are always out of the size you need in the item that you want. Try to find a mens size XL t-shirt, yeah that’s right they don’t have any that are reasonably priced, you might be able to buy one for 40$ if you are so desperate though, hah! The store is SO crowded with merchandise that by the time you spend 3 hours going through the store and find some stuff that is reasonably priced and in your size to try on you realize it does not fit and you like none of it.

    Kohls really needs to downsize their merchandise and make more room to walk in the store, I can barely fit between the racks to shop because its just so crowded with racks and clothing.

    Their clearance pricing doesn’t make any sense either, most of the items I have scanned come up MORE in the scanner than on the tag. So now if I spent 3 hours shopping in that store to finally find something I want to buy, I now have to argue with the cashier to get the correct price since they are notorious for scanning then throwing your item in the bag without even looking at the tag. Despite the fact that almost every clearance item in the store rings up higher priced on the scanner than it is on the tag.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I shop at Walmart all the time, but never for meat, or produce.. (scary stuff in those areas) but the clothes are okay if you don’t need to dress for a black tie dinner, or if you’re not a snob ;) Living in a small rural areal leaves one with few choices of where to shop unless you want to drive 50 miles.. No thanks… I don’t know what I did before the internet. JCP and are my best friends..

  27. pixiegirl1 says:

    I guess I’m the only one here with a clean kohls, lol. I like that they always have sales, I haven’t had any problem with the quality of their merchandise.

    I did go shopping at macys the other week. I got a pair of Calvin Kline jeans on clearance for $15 and that was it. I would have gotten more of them but they only had one pair in my size.

  28. orlo says:

    Leopard-print…very classy. Just kidding… I’d totally hit that.