Discount stores

We compared the shopping experience at Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s discount stores, and while both were messy, the former was much more impressive.

Bethany Biron / Business Insider

We did a Nordstrom Rack scavenger hunt.

  • Traditional retailers like Macy’s and Nordstrom are increasingly looking to their low-cost counterparts to help keep their businesses afloat.
  • Global retail analytics firm NPD Group has found that two-thirds of consumers regularly buy low-cost branded clothing.
  • We recently shopped at Nordstrom Rack and Bloomingdale’s The Outlet stores in New York City to see how the shopping experiences stacked up. Ultimately, Nordstrom Rack wowed us with its organized layout and sleek displays, despite less luxury than Bloomingdale’s.
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While department stores struggle to stay open, discount and discount retailers are thriving in their own heyday.

According to global retail analytics firm NPD Group, two-thirds of consumers regularly purchase clothing from low-cost brands like TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Consumer demand for overpriced products has grown so much in recent decades that the rebate market is expected to reach up to $ 19 billion in additional sales by 2021, according to JPMorgan analysts cited by Retail Dive.

For traditional department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom, discount models have become vital sources of revenue. While Macy’s plans to expand its Backstage locations as part of an upcoming turnaround plan, its Bloomingdale’s The Outlet stores continue to perform well. Meanwhile, Nordstrom Rack has consistently reported positive quarterly sales gains in an uncertain retail landscape in which its full-price locations have stumbled.

We recently visited Nordstrom Rack and Bloomingdale’s The Outlet stores in New York City to see how the two shopping experiences stacked up. While both featured an impressive assortment of designer goods at great prices – not to mention the occasional messy display – Nordstrom Rack ultimately wowed us with its sleek layout and more organized store.

Here is our experience:

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