TK Maxx was to blame for my worst outfits while growing up near the Lewisham branch. Miles of cut-price "designer" clobber by unheard-of labels, where every other Wetherspoon's-ready shirt seemed to be made by Lambretta, who I thought did scooters.
But the chain has evidently flourished since I stopped going. Once denied entry to Piccadilly Circus for being "not posh enough" (a joke to anyone who knows the place), TK Maxx has become a fixture of the smartest high streets. Prince Harry popped in to the Kensington store in London the other day for a hoodie.
Now it's branching out further, with dedicated food sections, each grandly to be called an "emporium". But while getting deals on a lorry load of surplus Fred Perry plimsolls works OK, how will the model translate for groceries? There are already clues, it turns out. I visited the Prince Harry branch to find an already limited and, frankly, bizarre selection of stuff. Arranged not very temptingly beside the checkout queue, they included: one-litre bottles of "mango margarita mixer"; a large vase of peaches in syrup; peri-peri marinade; fudge; a "BBQ chocolate dip" in a disposable foil tray; and two different types of red velvet cupcake baking kits.
The chain may yet clarify its strategy, but I suspect the big supermarkets are safe for now...
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