Off-price stores are the common name for the stores selling designer clothing at a discounted price. A bit like factory outlets, but more like proper stores. The items on the racks are more often than not from last season, and sometimes you need to look very long and very carefully to find the real gold, but if you develop a taste for this kind of shopping, looking for the good deals often become a highly addictive passtime.
The best time for off-price shopping is as early in the morning as possible. This is when the new stuff has just come in, and you can have a look around before the hordes arrive. Furthermore, this is also when the stores are less messy and it is easier to navigate the racks. Late in the evening it is also less crowded, but most of the good stuff will be gone by then. Here are some of the off-price stores you would not want to miss, if bargain hunting is your thing. Most of the off-price stores mentioned below are in fact chains with several branches throughout the city, so check the websites to find out which location is closest to where you are.
At Nordstrom Rack you will find all the nice brands you know from ”real” Nordstrom, but cheaper. There is a very good Nordstrom Rack at Union Square, but it is also worth considering popping over to Fulton Street in Brooklyn, where you will find a Nordstrom and a T.J. Maxx under the same roof. Fulton Street is overall a really great place to shop and worth checking out. Most of the high street brands are within a short walking distance, and the stores are a lot less crowded, than the ones in Manhattan. Nordstrom Rack is more expensive than Burlington and T.J. Maxx, but the clothes are also nicer.
Saks OFF 5th
Saks OFF 5th is the outlet store subsidiary of luxury department store chain Saks 5th Avenue.
The brands carried at Saks OFF 5th are upscale luxury brands, so shopping on Saks OFF 5th will dig a much larger hole in your wallet than shopping at Burlington and Marshall’s, but if you appreciate a good deal on high-end brands, you would love shopping at Saks OFF 5th.
Burlington is very similar to Ross, another popular American off-price chain, which for some reason does not have branches in New York City. The brands might not be as fancy as in the other stores mentioned in this post, but it is very cheap. There is a lot of polyester on the shelves, and some of the items might look like something your mom/grandma would wear, but if you take your time and look closely, there are some real bargains to be had and the store is huge. There is also stuff such as make-up sponges and brushes selling at very low prices.
T.J. Maxx and Marshalls
T.J. Maxx and Marshalls are actually two different chains, but with an almost identical selection of items, which is why they have been grouped together in this guide. Some might say that T.J. Maxx caters a bit more to younger people, while Marshalls have a more conservative style, but for the uninitiated, the two shops look more or less the same. There is a T.J. Maxx and a Marshalls in the same building on 6th Avenue marked in the map below.
DSW – Designer Shoe Warehouse
The shoes in this big, multistory shoe heaven are not super cheap, but there are good deals if you know what you are after and if you do not mind going through the racks of marked-down items, you can find some real bargains. The selection of brands is very good, so forget about leaving empty-handed, it is just not an option. DSW also sells bags and accessories.
Note: If you have been visiting New York City pre-Covid, you might wonder why Century 21, the queen of all NYC outlet stores is not featured in this guide. Unfortunately, Century 21 went out of business in 2020, and even though there has been talk about relaunching the stores, as per now, the stores remain closed.