5 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Burlington Coat Factory Employees
If you love this store's outerwear deals, you'll definitely want to heed these warnings.
Burlington Coat Factory got its start in 1924 as a wholesale retailer for ladies' coasts. In 1972, they opened their first store in Burlington, New Jersey (hence the name), with a focus on affordable branded outerwear for the whole family. In more recent decades, the store has become a more all-around discount department store, which is why it's now simply called "Burlington."
With over 900 stores across the U.S., it's on par with other off-price retailers like T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. And just like those other stores, you can get truly great deals—if you know the smartest ways to shop and what never to do. Keep reading to hear warnings from former Burlington Coat Factory employees, from the big thing missing in the outerwear department to the one day you should never shop.
READ THIS NEXT: 5 Warnings to Shoppers From Former T.J. Maxx Employees.
Don't think you can shop for fur.
If you're hunting for a real fur coat or want a parka with a fur lining, you won't find it at Burlington. The store went fur-free in 2017 after animal rights activists organized demonstrations.
"Back when I worked at Burlington Coat Factory we used to get protesters with big 'FUR IS MURDER' signs on the corner every weekend," Twitter user @strattonsr noted. Despite the real meaning of such signs, people still came in looking for fur. "We'd often get customers coming in asking 'oh you guys sell fur? where can I find it?'" they continued on Twitter.
Avoid shopping on Black Friday.
While Burlington is known for deals, the store doesn't always offer the best ones on Black Friday. But that doesn't stop large crowds from anticipating them.
"I worked at Burlington Coat Factory on Black Friday and it was packed. They didn't even have a sale," tweeted one former employee. Similarly, last year, a TikTok user posted a video of an incredibly long check-out line on Black Friday. To avoid the crowds, you'll probably want to shop elsewhere on Black Friday, especially since Burlington offers deals year-round.
For more shopping advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Make sure not to damage the merchandise.
If you're shopping with kids and they're admiring the toys, make sure they're careful. Unfortunately, if a toy gets damaged, it's thrown out completely instead of donated or sold for a lower price.
"When i worked at burlington coat factory we had to throw out toys that weren't damaged if the packaging was damaged (mostly at Christmas)," @h0neyspoon tweeted. "I asked if we could donate them instead and they said noooo lol."
Sadly, the same is true for clothing items. "I worked at Burlington coat factory during their annual cost drive, I was cutting up brand new coats (button missing…) instead of donating them to their own drive," @DizElmo wrote on Twitter. So, if you're trying on a coat or a dress, be gentle with the fabric, buttons, and zippers.
Don't feel pressured to get a credit card.
Much like at other discount department stores that offer their own credit cards, Burlington employees have certain sales goals and are taught to ask customers to sign up.
An anonymous employee on Indeed explained that the company keeps track of "survey numbers and how many people you get to sign up for a credit card." Another person on Indeed agreed and bemoaned, "I understand the whole credit card necessities but it was a stressful environment. make you feel like you're nothing without any cards at the end of your shift."
If you feel like an employee is being pushy, they probably are, but remember to be polite when you decline their credit card offer since they're only doing their job.
READ THIS NEXT: 6 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Kohl's Employees.
Put your items back where they belong.
With stores like Burlington, it's easy for things to get misplaced, as there are so many different departments close to one another. But try to remember that if you plop that frying pan down in the shoe aisle, a real person has to come and pick up after you.
In a TikTok video about working at Burlington, @anahixenciso pans around a highly organized store and says "put the things back where they belong." In the comments, several current and former employees wrote how messy their stores were and how they'd frequently have to stay late to organize. "we didn't leave til midnight cause of recovery. the shoe section took the longest. Clothes everywhere," wrote one commenter.