Dressing Consumers For Less Than Wal-Mart

Nov 18, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Ross Stores’ Dress For Less unit and competitors such as T.J. Maxx and Marshalls are winning customers the old-fashioned way. They’re selling apparel and accessories that consumers
can find in department stores, specialty outlets and mass merchandisers for a lot less money.

One example, given in a Los Angeles Times report, was Ross undercutting Wal-Mart on a pair of Levi Strauss Signature jeans by $10. The jeans, developed by the designer
for sale in Wal-Mart, retail for an every day price at $23. Ross sells the same jeans for $12.99 a pair.

Retailers such as Ross are benefiting from the treasure hunt mentality common with many U.S. consumers.

Anne Hinkey, a 59-year old real estate broker, told the Times, “They’ve got things that are practically free. Any time I’m by a Ross Dress for Less, I just cruise through
and see what I find.”

Another Ross Dress For Less shopper, Mary Bullard, said, “You’ve just got to keep digging…it’s fun.”

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on consumers’ endless quest for bargains and the impact stores such as Ross Dress For Less are having on
the retail market?

Shopping as sport.

One of the favorite television shows among the resident teen and tweens in the Anderson household is a program where celebrities are given a limited budget
($100) and told to put together an outfit. Mom watches also.

The commentary around the room during this program on a Sunday morning sounds an awful lot like that which can be heard in the afternoon during football
Anderson – Moderator

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