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TJ Maxx, Burlington, and Ross Are Losing These Major Fashion Brands

Struggles with the supply chain have forced the companies to pull out of discount stores.

There's nothing like scoring a fantastic deal while out shopping. And even though you can occasionally get lucky sifting through sales racks, discount chains have long been the most reliable way to consistently score the best clothing and accessories for much less cash. Unfortunately, regular shoppers at TJ Maxx, Burlington, and Ross may soon notice that some major fashion brands have gone missing from their favorite stores. Read on to see which labels are beginning to leave the bargain shopping world behind.

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TJ Maxx, Burlington, and Ross are losing five popular labels.

woman with curly hair in orange turtleneck and gray sweater clothing shopping
Shutterstock/David Prado Perucha

According to representatives for each company, fans of Under Armour, Ralph Lauren, Levi's, Steve Madden, and Carter's may come up shorthanded while shopping for the popular clothing and shoe brands at Burlington, TJ Maxx, and Ross in the near future. Each has announced plans to back away from selling their inventory to the discount chains, also known as "off-price" stores, CNN Business reports.

Supply chain issues are the reason why.

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, analysts say that changes to and stresses on the supply chain have led to a decrease in the amount of original inventory fashion labels have on hand while demand for the products remains relatively high. With so little spare merchandise to sell down the chain to bargain retailers, the brands are instead focusing on selling their goods at full cost.

"We have reduced the amount that we're selling to the third-party off-price channel," David Bergman, chief financial officer for Under Armour, said on a Nov. 2 earnings call. "Those partners would like more product."

During an earnings call on Nov. 3, Steve Madden CEO Edward Rosenfeld also announced it was no longer sending as much of its product to discount chains due to low supplies. "Our first priority is always feeding full-price channels," he said.

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TJ Maxx says its merchandise will still be "frequently updated" despite the changes.

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However, some discount retailers remain optimistic despite the changes. In an email to CNN Business, a spokesperson from TJ Maxx assured shoppers that its stores would still be "frequently updated with new and on-trend items" and that its "ever-changing mix of merchandise" will still make it easy for customers to find what they're looking for during the busy holiday shopping season.

Still, experts point out that brands have been slowly pulling away from discount stores since well before supply chain issues brought the problem to a head. "Off-price is a last resort," Susan Anderson, a retail analyst at B. Riley Securities, told CNN Business, adding that bargain chains could feel long-terms effects of the change if major fashion labels continue to hold on to their inventories for themselves.

Even outlet stores are feeling the pinch due to lower inventory supplies.

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But it's not just off-price chains like TJ Maxx, Burlington, and Ross that are being left shorthanded: Some companies are reporting that they're in such low supply of leftover inventory that they're having a hard time keeping their own outlet stores stocked. According to Ben Johns, general merchandising manager for outdoor equipment retailer REI, surging demand for the gear sold in its stores hasn't relented. He cited the retailer's full-price sales of bike equipment such as helmets, spare parts, bicycles, and maintenance products as an example. Those sales surged from 50 percent to 90 percent of the sector's business over the past year.

Johns tells CNN Business that such changes have left "very little product leftover" to sell at its outlet stores. "What we have we just simply sell full price," he said.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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