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Prince Harry says he loves shopping at TK Maxx. We visited the UK store and its US sibling, T.J. Maxx, to see how they compare and found striking similarities.

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Storefronts of TK Maxx in the UK and TJ Maxx in the USInsider visited TK Maxx in the UK and T.J. Maxx in the US to get a closer look inside the TJX-owned brands.

Grace Dean/Insider; Dominick Reuter/Insider

  • Prince Harry said in his memoir he loves shopping at TK Maxx, UK’s answer to T.J. Maxx in the US.
  • Both brands are owned by TJX Companies, which has more than 4,700 discount stores around the world.
  • Insider visited a T.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin, and a TK Maxx in northern England and despite the distance, found many similarities.
Prince Harry said in his memoir, “Spare,” that he loves shopping at TK Maxx, and he has previously been photographed visiting the discount fashion chain. Princess Kate, his sister-in-law, is also a fan of the store.Prince Harry facing to the side while speaking in the Netflix docuseries "Harry & Meghan."Prince Harry speaking in the Netflix docuseries “Harry & Meghan.”

Netflix

Sources: Insider, TK Maxx on Twitter

TK Maxx is the European sister company of T.J. Maxx. They’re both owned by TJX Companies.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

Source: TJX Companies

It all began in Framingham, Massachusetts, in 1976 with T.J. Maxx, and the group of discount department stores has since grown to own brands like Marshall’s, Sierra, and HomeGoods. In total, TJX has more than 4,700 locations around the world.A TJ Maxx storefrontT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

TK Maxx arrived in the UK in 1994. It changed its name to avoid being confused with the UK-based discount department-store chain TJ Hughes.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

Source: Insider

TK Maxx’s parent company calls the chain “the only brick-and-mortar, off-price apparel and home fashions retailer of significant size in Europe.” TK Maxx also has stores in Germany, Poland, Austria, the Netherlands, and Australia.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

Source: TJX Companies

As of October, TK Maxx had just over 600 stores in Europe, while T.J. Maxx had close to 1,300 in the US. Insider visited a TK Maxx in northern England…TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

Source: TJX Companies

…and a T.J. Maxx in Wisconsin: Here’s what we saw while visiting two stores separated by both a single letter — and the Atlantic Ocean.A TJ Maxx storefrontT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

The city center TK Maxx in Leeds, northern England, was a vast store.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

T.J. Maxx was similarly vast — larger than it would seem from outside — but well-lit and comfortably spaced.The women's clothing section of a TJ MaxxT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

In Leeds the focus was clear: Famous brands and heavy discounts. Signs throughout the space emphasized low prices and big names.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

The store used slogans like “when it’s gone it’s gone” to create a notion of scarcity and push customers to buy quickly.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

There did appear to be some great savings in the UK store. This Moncrief bag was labeled with a recommended retail price of £1,500 ($1,830), but was on sale for £249.99 ($305).TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

Meantime, a puzzlingly sparse display of cross-body bags stood across from an otherwise well-supplied array of purses and handbags at the US store.A sparse display of cross-body bagsT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

Back at the UK store, clothes are sorted into categories like skirts, shirts, and dresses, and then displayed according to size. But if you find an item that you like that doesn’t fit you, it can be a bit tricky to know whether the store stocks it in other sizes.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

The US store was similarly grouped, with color-coded collars on hangers and bar dividers delineating the sizes of women’s apparel on clearance.Womens apparel on clearance at a TJ MaxxT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

The UK displays felt a little bit lackluster. Whereas other fashion stores may use things like fun signs, lighting, mannequins, plants, and furniture to jazz up their displays, TK Maxx seemed content to just let the clothes do the talking.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

There were some non-clothing items dotted throughout the womenswear – and a selection of yoga mats and dumbbells among the sportswear.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

Some of the apparel was also sorted into two specific ranges: Mod Box, which generally targets younger shoppers …TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

… and Gold Label, which was full of high-end clothes.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

And woven throughout the store were rows and rows of clearance racks, too.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

At some points, it was hard to tell which items were cheap because they were specifically being reduced to clear inventory versus ones that were cheap just because that’s TK Maxx’s selling style.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

The section dedicated to shoes was huge, and featured brands including Adidas, Fila, Levi’s, Birkenstock, and Alexander McQueen.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

But they too were sorted by size rather than item type, which meant that sneakers, heels, and rain boots were all jumbled together.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

Most shoes were straight on the shelves, but some were kept in boxes, which seems a bit impractical for shoppers. Because of the way that TK Maxx sorts its items according to size, you have no idea what might be in the boxes until you open them.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

The US store had restocking bins standing throughout the store, but those were typically pushed well enough to the side so as not to interrupt shopping.Restocking bins near a children's section at TJ MaxxT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

Plus, there were plenty of staff actively putting items on shelves and racks, so it didn’t appear as though the bins were forgotten.Bath towels neatly folded at TJ MaxxT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

The one crowded area was in the bath section at the rear of the store, where several restocking carts had been shoved into a corner.Several restocking carts in the back corner of a TJ MaxxT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

Some of the UK store’s lingerie section seemed a bit uninspired …TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

… though we did spot some very cute nightwear from a brand we’d never heard of.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

There was also a makeup and beauty section. Some parts of this looked very neat …TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace/Dean

… but the makeup display, in particular, was quite messy. Some of the boxes had been opened and some products had leaked onto the counter.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

There were also lots of perfumes on sale, but because they were all in security boxes you couldn’t see what they smelled like. We didn’t spot any testers.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace/Dean

But we spotted some odd products, like this snail soap …TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace/Dean

… and some boob lotion.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

There were quite a few festive items from The Body Shop on sale, which surprised Insider reporter Grace Dean, who can’t recall seeing the brand’s items on sale in any third-party stores before. Other brands TK Maxx had to offer in its beauty and makeup section included Essie, Revlon, Wella, Elf, Maybelline, and Max Factor.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace/Dean

There was a whole host of electronics, too, including things like hair styling tools and hairdryers.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace/Dean

Of course, there were a lot of items labeled as “final clearance,” too.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

Several stands, like this one for accessories at the US store, had been pretty worked over by customers inspecting products.A clearance rack for accessories at a TJ MaxxT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

The US store’s jewelry case, located near the dressing rooms, had a fairly thin selection of products.The dressing room areaT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

The UK store also boasted a jewelry counter, next to some of the Gold Label displays.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

An escalator in the UK store took you downstairs to men’s clothing, kid’s products, and homeware. Strangely, the first things you encountered when exiting the escalator were boxes of underwear.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

They all had security tags on, too.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

The men’s underwear section at the US store was similarly well organized, though it did not have the security tags seen in the UK.Men's underwear neatly displayed at TJ MaxxT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

The UK menswear section seemed relatively neat.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

There were mirrors at the end of almost every rack of clothing, which made it easy if shoppers wanted to check if a color suited them or try on a jacket without heading to the fitting rooms.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace/Dean

We spotted a range of brands throughout the store, including Superdry, Michael Kors, and Adidas. In particular, there seemed to be a lot of Alexander McQueen, DKNY, and Moschino items.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

In one corner there was a big display of suitcases and travel bags, featuring brands like Guess, Juicy Couture, Dune, and Polo by Ralph Lauren.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

The luggage section at the US store was just to the left of the main entrance, and all departments were on the same level.Luggage for sale at a TJ MaxxT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

The kids’ section boasted a range of designer brands, like Balmain, Juicy Couture, Polo by Ralph Lauren, French Connection, and DKNY. There were also some items designed by Jessica Simpson – the first time we’d ever noticed her items on sale in the UK.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

The store had an extensive homeware section – a bit of a surprise because it was located just yards from a Homesense store, which is owned by the same parent company and focuses solely on interiors. Some of the displays were very attractive …TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace/Dean

… including these cushions arranged by color. This was probably the neatest section of the store – likely because fewer customers browse through these items and move them around, unlike with clothes and shoes.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

The fake-plants shelf at the US store was arranged especially neatly, with a nice eye for color and balance.Fake plants arranged neatly on the shelves at TJ MaxxT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

The UK store also had a stand of fake flowers near lots of candles and photo frames.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

Considering there were some beautiful items up for grabs, it was surprising that TK Maxx chose to highlight a range of household cleaning products in one of its end-cap displays.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace/Dean

The US store also devoted a surprisingly wide area in the center of the sales floor to displaying furniture and other housewares.Chairs on display in a TJ MaxxT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

There were also some homeware items you probably wouldn’t think of coming to TK Maxx for, like an angle grinder, various fluids for cleaning your car, and some general cleaning products like drain unblocker.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

As ever, though, the food section proved to be the most enjoyable. It was host to a whole range of items, including pasta, tea, coffee, olive oil, cereal bars, and much, much more.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

TK Maxx is the store to visit for a fun-flavored coffee syrup. Most UK supermarkets only carry a few flavors, if any at all.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

Throughout this floor of the store, too, there were hundreds of clearance items …TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

… including many left over from Christmas.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

Some of the items seemed unsellable – like this pile of makeup advent calendars, many of which had items missing.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

In-season items, like these Valentine’s wreaths were prominently displayed in the US store ahead of the February holiday…Seasonal Valentine's wreaths on display at TJ MaxxT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

… along with Valentine’s kitchenware and pillows.Seasonal Valentine's housewares on display at TJ MaxxT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

Seasonal candies and decor near the front register at T.J. MaxxSeasonal candies and decor near the front register at TJ MaxxT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

In the UK we spotted some books, too – hadn’t realized that TK Maxx sold fiction, but lo and behold, we found a collection of Oscar Wilde novels.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

Some of the clearance sections were very jumbled, though.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

The store also had some quite large, bulky non-apparel items, like these children’s toys. There was a mini ice-cream truck and a play tent.TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace Dean/Insider

The children’s toy selection in the US store was pleasantly full and varied without being cluttered…Children's toys for sale at TJ MaxxT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

… though it’s easy to imagine much of that ending up in disarray after a toddler or two have passed through.Children's toys for sale at TJ MaxxT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

Dean, who last visited the UK store around 15 months ago, found a marked improvement since then. “Compared to the TK Maxx stores I remembered growing up – which always seemed something like a yard sale with their collection of random items in random sizes – this store actually seemed pretty tidy.”TK Maxx store in LeedsThe TK Maxx store in Leeds.

Grace/Dean

All in all, the stores were strikingly consistent with one another, in spite of the distance and the letter.Womens apparel on clearance at a TJ MaxxT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

Additionally, both locations appeared tidier and better stocked than we’ve seen from the brand in past years. No wonder Prince Harry is a fan.Shopping carts in the vestibule at TJ MaxxT.J. Maxx in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dominick Reuter/Insider

Read the original article on Business Insider

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