Thursday, September 11, 2008

Retail is for Suckers

Ever since I was a youngin’, I always wanted to stunt. Like I had Girbaud’s in 5th grade when folks were still rocking their Guess overalls. I had a shoe rotation in grade school when kids just had a pair for the year. In 8th grade I had to have a uniform, but instead of the standard white polo shirts, mine were Ralph Lauren, and not Chaps either haha. Plus I had the fat cords from Gap rather than the skinny cords issued at the uniform store. I think its because until 4th grade or whenever I was having hand-me-downs for days. I vividly remember once crying when my lil sister was getting EVERYTHING she asked for and I was using my older brothers older draws. Then again if I was my folks, if would suck buying the same thing 5 times over lol.

Anyway during this time I gained an appreciation for discount stores. Shopping here is like shopping for music at Amoeba or somewhere similar – you’re not looking for anything specific, but you’re just looking for anything! While you probably don’t wanna be seen here, shopping here has saved me a few bucks along the way and made me even more, thanks to eBaying some stuff. So here are my rankings of them in reverse order:

6. TJ Maxx – This is probably the most organized one, but has the least selection. The last thing I’ve bought here were some basketball shorts. Best Location: Westlake.

5. Loehmanns – They have the most uppity brands, so I don’t really buy much here. Plus they only have chick kicks and none for dudes. I think I bought some work pants here last. Best Location: on Sutter [only one though?]

4. Jeremys – I kinda discovered this spot walking around Berkeley once, and picked up a couple American Apparel hoodies haha. Their return policy sucks though. Best Location: South Park

3. Nordstrom Rack – This is the Nordstrom of these discount stores lol. But word, I really feel sorry for whomever works in the shoe department. Imagine tryna pair all those up! I’ve found countless kicks here: Air Max 1s, Air Huarache Runners, Air Flightposites and a few others. I probably got a Penguin shirt here last, so if you see me wearing a Penguin shirt, its probably from here! Best Location: that one in Seattle I went to once.

2. Ross – Beware: you really need patience if you want to shop here. They’re the most unorganized but also the cheapest. Like in my eBay heyday I would buy Ashworth polos for $8 and sell them for $25, so I can appreciate them. Personally though I found a pair of my Jordan Golf shoes here for like $30! Worst Location: the one on Market, as I refuse to go there.

1. Marshalls – This is the Mecca here folks, as they’re pretty strong in apparel, housewares and kicks. Its well-lit, generally organized and have pretty current brands. If you look hard enough, you can find some Stussy or Nike White Label gear, but then you’ll also find like a Derek Fisher Warriors jersey haha. Best Location: the one on Market.

My rule of thumb is that if an urban brand has made it to these stores, its time to find something else to rock!