BY CLARE COULSON – A decade ago, executives at TK Maxx were informed that their bid to open a flagship store at London’s famous Piccadilly Circus had been denied. At that point, the discount clothing chain wasn’t deemed ‘posh’ enough for such a prestigious location.
Five years later, though, TK Maxx secured a prime position on Kensington High Street — and now the firm’s executives must be patting themselves on their backs. For they have really hit marketing gold thanks to pictures of Prince Harry leaving the store with his own bag of cut-price bargains, which included a hoodie, a T-shirt and a mobile phone cover.
Bargain hunter: Prince Harry leaves the High Street Kensington branch of TK Maxx with his discount haul
And he’s not the only one to give the cheap-as-chips chain the royal seal of approval — Kate Middleton has also been spotted in the Kensington branch, as has Harry’s ex Chelsea Davy. Former model Jodie Kidd and actress Tamsin Egerton have scouted for bargains there, too. On the surface, a TK Maxx store looks a bit like a disorganised jumble sale, but for those in the know, it can be a style mecca.
For the shopper with time, patience and a discerning eye, thousands of designer brands can be found crammed inside. Savvy customers can snap up this season’s styles at up to 60 per cent off the normal retail price, if they know what they are looking for and when to look for it.
The stock is diverse, ranging from old pieces from two to three seasons ago (a lifetime in the fashion world) to up-to-the minute excess stock from designer boutiques, from labels such as Chloe, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. Posher High Street favourites like French Connection, All Saints and Reiss can also be picked up at knock-down prices. TK Maxx also brokers deals to buy up excess factory stock — which, while including things that simply didn’t sell well in High Street or designer stores, also includes gorgeous must-have items in one-off sizes. New deliveries arrive at stores around the country every day, with one fifth of the total stock replaced each week.
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