The first store we visited was Kohl’s in Upland, California, on a Monday afternoon around 2 p.m. Upland is a suburb about 40 miles east of Los Angeles.
Located near the entrance was a selection of toys aimed at holiday shoppers. My mom quickly made a friend.
Kohl’s also had an extraordinary selection of games and puzzles.
At Kohl’s, almost everything was on sale, Adidas included. I appreciated how prices were clearly marked and that similar items were displayed together.
I was also drawn to the Levi’s display, and I appreciated that the jeans were folded neatly, making it easier to find the right size.
The one exception to the store’s organization was the clearance sections in each department. In the shoe department, shoes were spilling onto the floor with no real semblance of order.
Kohl’s also had a large selection of luggage, with prices marked down to 50% off for American Tourister.
The housewares department at Kohl’s also featured name brands like Ninja and Keurig, but the discounts didn’t seem that great — the Ninja coffee maker only had a $20 markdown.
It seemed the word “sale” was ever-present around the store, with Food Network cookware also featured.
But once again, the clearance section was a mess.
There was quite a selection of comforter sets that were marked down to 40% or 50% off.
The home decor section also featured merchandise at 60% off, with some items under $10.
Surprisingly, I found Lands’ End coats at Kohl’s. I thought Lands’ End clothing was only available online, so I made a mental note of this.
There was also a selection of stylish purses by Simply Vera Vera Wang. The renowned designer started the collection for Kohl’s in 2007. I loved how they were neatly displayed and organized.
At the back of the store was a whole wall of Lego merchandise, with games for all ages.
Former reality TV star and lifestyle maven Lauren Conrad also has a line at Kohl’s.
The jewelry department boasted sales up to 60% off, and watches by such brands as Bulova and Seiko.
At Kohl’s I saw about 15 people in the store, while T.J. Maxx had at least three times that many. This may have been because it was a little later in the day.
Unlike Kohl’s, The T.J. Maxx accessories department was right near the front of the store, which included a selection of handbags, scarves, hats, and neck pillows.
The luggage section was perhaps the most organized in the store, even though it was right next to the accessories.
The jewelry department also had no semblance of order, and prices were not clearly marked.
Even though T.J. Maxx had a large selection of handbags and wallets, I just couldn’t get over the clutter enough to want to browse through it.
The bath and body display was similarly cluttered, with no separation by particular brands. Prices were marked individually and most seemed to be marked down by about 30%.