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My days of boutique shopping are long gone – with four little people to clothe and gifts to buy for their friends’ various occasions, that kind of shopping is a distant, yet fond, memory. These days, it’s all about finding great deals, and luckily we have a TJ Maxx right down the block, which is my go-to for finding just about anything at incredible prices. In fact, as I write this, I’m sporting a killer red cardigan that ran me $15, though IMHO, looks more like a million bucks.  When my oldest daughter reminded me this week that she needs to buy a gift for her best friend for Valentine’s Day, I decided to call on social media through the NetBase Insight Workbench and see what they had to say about some of the biggest names in discount retail: Kohl’s, JC Penney, TJ Maxx, Ross and Marshalls.

My initial reaction to the chart was one of surprise – I thought for sure there would be higher passion and sentiment among online consumers for great bargains. But, as you’ll see in some of the verbatim further down, sometimes a cut in prices also includes a cut in customer service and experience. The next insight to raise my eyebrows was that Ross had such a small bubble – Ross advertises as much if not more than all of the brands on the chart, but generated only a fraction of the chatter. Kohl’s emerged as the buzz winner, nabbing an overwhelming 54.6% of the overall chatter among the five brands. Kohl’s followed up this strong showing with the second highest Passion Intensity of 68 and the third highest Net Sentiment of 61. TJ Maxx generated the third highest Share of Buzz, with only 14.4% of the overall chatter, but dominated the other two categories with the highest Passion Intensity of 78 and the highest Net Sentiment, with a score of 68. Marshalls, which is coincidentally also from TJ Maxx’s parent company of TJX, fell to the bottom of all three metrics, with only 4% of the chatter, a Passion Intensity score of 45 and a Net Sentiment score of 54.

In this graphic, the amount of chatter about a brand is indicated by the size of the bubble, while the placement of the bubble shows the intensity of passion.

Verbatim surfaced about Kohl’s showed that online consumers can’t stop buzzing about the bargain chain because of great customer service: everything from fabulous prices to huge selection to a clean and organized store layout. One consumer even noted their success while hunting for the
perfect Valentine’s Day gift!

I got the best Valentines’s present ever, whatever I could find in 30 minutes shopping trip in Kohls!!!

Kohl’s stores are effectively arranged, clean plus the shop employees, such as customer support, in our experience have been helpful plus friendly.

A pleasant customer experience resonated throughout verbatim found for TJ Maxx – though online consumers didn’t stop there, also noting the
incredible jewelry selection and wide range of great discounts TJ Maxx has to offer.

Great night shopping and mingling at one of my fab places for every area of my life fashion.home.food Thanks TJ Maxx. #TJMaxxMarshalls

TJ Maxx seems less crowded and easier to shop

I love the jewelry department at TJ Maxx.

TJ Maxx has the best stuff in their jewelry department.

TJ Maxx has some of the best deals around.

TJ Maxx also has cheap maternity wear.

FYI: TJ Maxx has some great, cheap pet stuff!!!!

In a sharp contrast to sister company, TJ Maxx, Marshalls  was dinged for some of the very things for which TJ Maxx was hailed: store experience. Verbatim include complaints of the store being dirty, having ill-fitting clothing and lacking home goods.

I HATE Marshalls — I always buy something there that never fits right!

I will never shop at marshals clothing store and I recommend that no one else does either.

Marshals is kind of dirty.

This Marshall’s is also pretty nice, but it lacks the designer and home goods sections.

So who’s your go to for discount shopping, especially with busy holidays like Valentine’s Day coming up? Let me know in the comments!