Is it me or is HomeGoods loosing it's touch?

lukkiirishJune 9, 2009

Used to be I could spend hours browsing the HomeGoods store. So many different things there to help inspire the imagination, but now it seems like the shelves are only half as full, and the stock is the same stock they had for their last spring / summer season. I've been to the store several times with hopes of finding shelves full of new goodies, but no luck. Is anyone else finding this to be true or could it just be this area which has been hit pretty hard by the recession?

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I was in HomeGoods for the first time this month and was disappointed with the selection and prices. The shelves weren't empty, there was just too much of the same thing.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 3:02PM
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I just went to my first Home Goods a couple months ago. Although I was so excited from what I had heard here and read on blogs, I was very disappointed. Their merchandise looked like Hobby Lobby home decor. The lamps were the best part with decent prices, but their offerings were rather limited.

I was hoping to find some glass, maybe a tray.

Did it used to be better? Maybe all of the home decor type places are getting bad because Hobby Lobby has gone way down hill in home decor lately as well. I haven't found anything nifty in ages.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 3:02PM
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I've been to Homegoods a couple of times this past year (it's a fair drive), and I thought their furniture was junk - all particleboard and most pieces damaged. Most of the framed art wasn't my style or was damaged too. Maybe their linens are OK, but I wasn't looking for those.

Are they a discounter like Marshalls and TJ Maxx (I know they're the same company), or are they supposed to be carrying new (undamaged) goods?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 3:03PM
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I don't think I've ever been to a HomeGoods store, but I noticed the same thing at my local Target just last week. This time last year, they had a very large selection of goodies in their "outdoor living" section, and this year - pfffffft. The aisles are practically empty, and it doesn't appear to be because people are buying things left and right either. Maybe retailers just aren't buying the goods to stock the shelves with, if they perceive that sales aren't going to be stellar in that department. I dunno, but I do remember walking out of Target feeling just ever-so-slightly depressed.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 3:05PM
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Add another voice to this chorus -- been to any number of shops where the shelves are filled with the same-old stuff. And I've noticed lots of ladies with LESS in their shopping carts too!

I think there a number of factors:

1) Recession -- Job Loss and Job Fear

2) The "No Clutter, Less is More" Decor trend! So -- as I am thinking that this trend MIGHT have been counter-productive from the Top Designers -- the latest issues of the magazines are slowly starting to show more "stuff" out-and-about in the photos! LOL!

((example from House Beautiful July 2009 pages 30-31: -- "Send Us a Picture of ....." and designers show their coffee tables this month .... with LOTS of stuff! LOL!))

3) Cutting Back on Stock and Inventory -- Until a clear-and-proven sales winner pops up

4) Online Shopping. The free shipping trend. Saves on gas too.

Just some thoughts on a very very hot afternoon here in DFW.

Jan at the parched Rosemary Cottage

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 3:20PM
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Been there several times and walked out talking to myself..Very unhappy with that store.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 3:32PM
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By mid-summer, Home Goods usually starts getting picked over, with a lot of things on clearance. Not my favorite time to shop. But right now, at my local HomeGoods, there is a wonderful selection of all kinds of things, with the exception of the towels. They seem to be down a bit. The lamps are amazing, rugs are great, dishware is beautiful and there are all kinds of treasures in the Garden Dept. Mine is in Central California.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 3:33PM
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I wouldn't necessarily blame the economy for bad home decor items. The larger problem (imo) is that the stuff out there is just junky!

Everything feels shoddy, fake, and poorly done. Not what I want in my home.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 4:06PM
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My first trip to a HomeGoods (outside of Boston) was 4-5 yrs. ago and I thought it was great - an entire store of discounted brand name things for the home. DD was moving from college to her first grownup apartment and we found great deals on stainless flatware, rugs, lamps, dishware, etc.

I went back recently and, like most of you noted above, it was not stocked with the type of quality merchandise I'd seen previously. Everything looked tired and cheesy. Walked out without wanting/buying anything.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 4:19PM
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Goodwill, however, is really picking *up* in quality. I've been able to add to my art glass and NW Studio pottery collections quite beautifully recently. Some folks are passing away, as always (hence things from the 70s and earlier), but I think some folks are downsizing as well and having to let go of things fast. Got a gorgeous like-new EGE Deluxe Rya Rug, all wool fibers, top-of-the-line, no damage or smoke odor, 140x200 cm -- $19.99. Ahhhhhh :)

Here is a link that might be useful: looks like the one on bottom row, second from left

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 4:22PM
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Funny, I usually just lurk over here, but I feel the need to chime in on this one. The last two times I went to HomeGoods I also walked out empty-handed. I thought it was just me....maybe I was finally getting it through my thick skull that we're in a recession, lol! So glad to know it's them, not me. Although I haven't seen so much of the downturn in quality...just that the selection no longer seems to be things that I "must have".

Interesting that this seems to be a nationwide thing, since I see many of you are not in the northeast.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 4:26PM
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I had luck with serving pieces and a few misc kitchen gadgets at the one in PA I hit before moving to Newport - but other than that, I agree - it was junk. It seems like they used to have more in the way of electrics for the kitchen, and their bedding selection was just awful.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 4:54PM
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I just moved to a new city and have access to HomeGoods for the first time in my life. I thought the store was awesome, especially compared to the TJ Maxx I was used to shopping at in my home town.

I found some fabulous sheets for my daughters that were a fraction of what they should have been and just absolutely precious.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 5:29PM
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Well, thanks for chiming in everyone, it all makes sense and I too was thinking recession, recession recession. I used to love their sheets as well, but this last set was more than disappointing. Since buying our house, my favorite time is spring, I look forward every year to getting something cute for the yard, this year, nothing, it's like their spring stuff never arrived?! I just went today and there were only a couple of items on each shelf. I know that a lot of their stuff has been questionable taste and quality wise for a while, at least it used to be a great place to find inspiration & ideas.

Red: are you in a part of the country where the recession has been a little more kind? Maybe they're stocking up better there.

Gemini40: I love your response, that's hilarious! HA!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 5:51PM
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Interesting thoughts!
I've had a HomeGoods merchandise credit burning a hole in my wallet for a while, but the last several walk-throughs during the stores in my area were all a wash. Nothing "WOW!" for me. But I'm going through a period where I really want to sell some things on Craigslist (like some shelves, which I just did sell) and have a tag sale to shed myself of things that don't wow me anymore, so I thought that was why I wasn't eager to buy anything at HomeGoods.
(Tho when browsing the garden-type things, I kind of thought it was skimpy!)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 5:58PM
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Lack of stock: the economy.
Business news listed some doing better than projected(Saks) due to lessening their inventory) Noticed something looked odd at Macy's men's dept.
Looked again and, wow!.... Very neat and tidy
and verrrry little merchandise.
As for Homegoods, TJMaxx/Marshall's, they
have changed over the years. Used to be able
to find designer clothes, and linens
( though you had to get lucky). Now, occasional
designer stuff, but mostly middle of the road.
Ditto on the linens...middle- of-the-road.
HG once had some nice, name brand lamps.
Now mostly the cheap, plaster stuff.
Marshall's does have some great finds in shoes.
Do not let the furniture tempt you by its
knock-off good looks. Ever see the scratched
pieces, displaying the white plaster-ish underbelly:>O
I do like the Portugal pottery I find there.
But, If you want any uniqueness ( or quality at a reasonable price) it's time to go consignment or antique shopping! I still shop them, though. There can be surprises. HG is, in the main, good for mostly fun stuff, little gifts, etc.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 6:18PM
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I had a sizable store credit from Home Goods but I haven't been able to find a single item I want to buy, so I am gradually using the credit up at TJ Maxx!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 6:47PM
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Yeah, it's everywhere. I was just at Tuesday Morning and it had shelves of those dreadful little resin figurines you see in the dollar store.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 6:48PM
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I was at our Home Goods last week and they had a fantastic selection of dinnerware, crystal, beverage glasses, trays, linens, decor items and lamps. I wasn't thrilled with their furniture selection, but I wasn't looking to buy that anyway.

But last month, the pickings were very slim there. Maybe they had gotten a fresh shipment of goods last week.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 7:15PM
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My local HG is always packed w/ stuff & people. Things go too fast. I haven't bought anything from there lately because I'm the indecisive type *sigh* and by the time I went back, the things I want would be gone.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 8:39PM
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I love ours and it is usually well stocked but i did notice the last time couple times that it is all the same stuff. doesn't seem to be changing much right now

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 9:19PM
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I have a number of Homegoods, Marshalls Home, TJ Maxx. in my area. They are all hit or miss. Sometimes I score - then a long dry spell. I did notice,however, the Homegoods in the "nicer" areas have higher prices for the same merchandise.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 11:26PM
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I'm joining the chorus of HG is not what it used to be. I go about once every two weeks and almost always leave empty handed. Not too happy with Hobby Lobby either.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 5:54AM
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We have 3 homegoods within a 30-40 minute radius. A few weeks ago, I hit all three of them in a row, trying to find lamps and bedding for my master bedroom.

The first one (closest to me, the one I go do most often, located on a major thoroughfare in a high-traffic "mall" area) was very picked over and had basically nothing - only a few rows of lamps and very picked over (half were broken or had something wrong with them).

The second one (about 15 min from the first, located in a small strip mall next to Kohls in a "wealthier" suburban area) had far more selection -- I found lamps there that I love.

The third one I hit on a whim because I was in the area for a doctor appointment - it's not anywhere I would normally think of going. It's in the traditional old-money area of the Philly suburbs -- a whole stretch of towns where everyeone is well-off and most people are flat-out rich.

Can I even just tell you that the selection in that HomeGoods was AMAZING??? They had twice as many lamps as the second one and the lamps were all high end, super-nice and very different than the selection at the first and second ones. Same with the furniture and the rugs -- even the office stuff was nicer. I was really surprised at how many new things I saw at the third one that weren't at the first and second. And the store was pretty empty as well - not many shoppers compared to the other two.

So I guess it's hit or miss plus the area where you shop. Less traffic seems to equal less picked over, and wealthy areas = good selection. I don't know why the super-wealthy area was so amazing though -- maybe the super-rich don't want to get caught "slumming" at HomeGoods?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 7:31AM
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Maybe the super-rich demand better quality and you hit that store after they'd restocked (they may restock more often too)?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 12:47PM
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There's a HomeGoods south of us near L.A. It's not nearly as nice a store as the one here locally. Nor is it merchandised as well. I think part of it is the local buyer and part is the time of year.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 1:02PM
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I've noticed that the stores overall have 'less stuff' and much of the stuff they have doesn't seem to be quite as good.
But the discounts are bigger. Full price seems to be a very limited thing around here.

And I'm still buying less!
I find myself being pickier than ever and asking "Will this improve my life?"
If the answer is "Not really" -- then I can resist virtually any discount.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 1:05PM
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That explains it RED!!! Oh how I love the midwest, (we moved here from Huntington Beach on 05) but boy do I Loooonnnggg for the shopping of L.A.!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 1:39PM
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lkplatow - you didn't hit the Radnor Homegoods by chance, did you? I've had some luck there - last year I bought a ton for our summer house. That TjMaxx (in the same plazea is the best one I've ever been too - REAL designers - like stuff from Neiman's and Saks there. Amazing.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 2:56PM
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I agree, the only thing I ever buy in HG anymore is the white Portugal pottery serving pieces. My local store is a mess. I used to feel like a kid in a candy store there, now I usually leave empty handed.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 3:10PM
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kpaquette - yup, it was the radnor one. I live a good 40 minutes north of there and never think to go there to shop (can't stand the rt 30 traffic, for one thing), but I might have to change my mind. I'll definitely check out the TJ Maxx next time too.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 3:26PM
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I've been to HG many of times. I find it to be a hit or miss store. There is a new one opening closer to my house this weekend and I'm looking forward to seeing some great things - hopefully!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 10:28AM
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There isn't one near me. . . :'(

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 11:34AM
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No HG here, either. But all the other chain retailers all carry the same old, tired junk. It's like they're all buying from the same distributors or something!

I've been a Goodwill shopper for years, first because I bought things to repurpose into my garden art, then as I noticed great things while on the hunt for that garden art stuff. I've purchased gorgeous rugs, furniture, home decor, linens, all at incredible discount prices. And it's good stuff, too...not cheap made in China knock offs. I've even found NIB things. All the storage in my MB is NIB things from Target that I got at Goodwill.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 11:56AM
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My Goodwill is hit or miss. Esp. for artwork. I bought an Ethan Allen framed print of a Renoir for $55, but yesterday I saw a nice framed floral from Homegoods original HG price $29.99 marked $30, the frame was broken (completely - the top piece was only attached by the paper backing), I asked how much given the condition and they wouldn't mark it down!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 12:04PM
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I go to Homegoods at least once a week. Sometimes I buy, sometimes I don't. I've found the best sheets, towels, all-clad cookware, and an unbelievable, all time favorite cabinet. It's a great store to just run through without expectations. I don't expect to find towels if I go look for towels because that day I'll find a lamp that matches perfectly. The rugs are also at a great price. Because I have Homegoods and TJ Maxx and More (TJ's combined with Homegoods) within a few miles, its easy to park and give a quick run through.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 12:05PM
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I went to HGs today, partially because of this thread. I'm not a long time shopper of the store, so I can't compare before with now, but I thought they had a lot of interesting things. I bought a large glass hurricane for the center of my kitchen table, a candle to go in it, and 4 Ralph Lauren placemats that are the perfect color. I live in a suburban area with a lot of upscale homes.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 6:15PM
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For more than 30 years I've been a regular deal shopper at a full range of discount and outlet stores. So I can call myself an experienced shopper who can confirm the general decline in merchandise not just in home goods but in clothing. My best guess is that as the economy has declined fewer high end products enter the market and therefore fewer trickle down to the price level where I can afford to buy these items. Maybe someone who has retail experience can explain this but there must be some sort of built in factor that if the store buyer commits to x units of an item then y% will eventually need to be sold to the deep discount stores. What I'm saying is that this equation has probably changed in the past year.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 7:01PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Where does Home Goods, Marshals and TJMaxx get their stock?
it seems like I read once that most things were from catalog warehouses. Just curious.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 7:31PM
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I went to the new HG store this past weekend. It was very crowded. The street leading into the store strip was a parking lot, & it took 20 min. to go 2 blocks. Anyway the store was well stocked, I brought a beautiful crystal lamp for my daughters room, kitchen canisters and monogramed (1 letter) washclothes. I was very happy. However, I did look for coffee, which I always buy in othe HG stores and there was none. I plane to keep checking it out since it is new and near my house.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 2:25PM
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I wonder if HG does as some other chains do, and sends their best stock to new stores to get customers addicted to shopping there.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 2:30PM
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I heard they're having a big sale 6/17-6/20 or 21. I never hear about sales there so I wonder what thats all about.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 4:19PM
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Here is the trick about HomeGoods - you need to go often - the really good stuff goes so fast. The one in Louisville, KY does have a lot of junk but they have some wonderful things too. My friend has been looking for those very large blue and white Chinese lidded urns - very Ralph Lauren looking in the right decor - they are hundred of dollars in the decorating stores but our HomeGoods had them a few months ago. She also bought two solid marble slab tables (white with dark veining) - they look like they came out of an old conservatory - a few chips here and there but they honestly look like they jumped off the pages of Veranda magazine....they were on clearance because of the chips for under $30 a piece.

I recently needed a very large outdoor rug in neutral colors - very hard to find the large ones but HomeGoods had a great one at a great price. This past week I purchased several large dark green glazed pots - gorgeous and inexpensive.

I agree that the quality of some of the merchandise seems to have gone down hill a bit (I remember when they had wonderful lamps), but they do get some very nice things in - but they go quickly.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 5:31PM
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I usually go in ours every couple of weeks. They've maintained a really nice selection & some things seem to sell pretty fast. I bought a vase there back in the spring & was glad I went ahead because they were all gone next time I went in. I don't buy frequently, but that's mainly because I'm being really choosy about buying exactly the right thing & not getting a bunch of clutter. They always have several things that I like & would like to buy. I've bought several things there over the past few weeks.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 6:54AM
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I loved HG, but have to drive about 40 minutes to the one nearest me. I was there the other day and was very disappointed. I didn't find one thing I wanted to buy, and the place seemed short on merchandise. I ended up saving my money that day, but I hope they go back to being the store I remember.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 11:04AM
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Cattknap, that used to be the case here as well. Full shelves, lots of carts being unloaded. Go often or it will be gone, but not any more. I do a lot of driving for work and shop at any 5 Home Goods in our area. I'd say for as long as I can remember, I would go into at least one store but usually 2-3 stores per week and I'm seeing the same trend at the all of them. Limited carts to unload, sparce shelf stock and "goods" that aren't worth the prices they're now charging, which is another thing I've noticed, a hike in prices! We moved here from So Cal a couple years back and I'm so bummed because the shopping where we are now, well in a nut shell, sucks. I'm having withdrawls and HomeGoods WAS my one escape!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 12:39PM
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The only good thing I have found recently was the All Clad fish poacher that I had had on my wish list for ages. It wasn't even a second so I was especially happy :-)

I am so tired of seeing nothing but "made in China" junk in all the stores these days. If the stores want me to spend my money, they have got to give me something worth spending it on.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 11:53AM
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