Former TK Maxx employee reveals the secret codes you need to know to bag a REAL bargain

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Former TK Maxx employees have revealed how best to bag a bargain at the store as they explained they use ‘secret codes’ on clothing labels to show if items have been slashed in price.

Former senior merchandiser Daniel Baker told Channel 5’s TK Maxx: How they Do It? that customers should look for specific numbers on the tags of the items they like to bag a deal. 

In the show, airing on Sunday at 7pm, Daniel explained that items who have a number ‘two’ on their tag mean they are genuine bargains and used to sell for a higher price for another brand. 

Meanwhile, other employees revealed the tricks at the root of the discounted stores’ success, from waxing the clothes rails to putting the most popular items at the back of the store.  

Former senior merchandiser Daniel Baker told Channel 5's TK Maxx: How they Do It? that costumers should look for specific numbers on the tags of the items they like to bag a deal (pictured, TK Maxx)

Former senior merchandiser Daniel Baker told Channel 5’s TK Maxx: How they Do It? that costumers should look for specific numbers on the tags of the items they like to bag a deal (pictured, TK Maxx) 

‘On any label, you can see a number. The number that is really exciting to a customer is number two because that means it’s genuine stock that was sold at a higher price somewhere else,’ Daniel told the documentary. 

He explained the three main codes are ‘one, two and seven.’  

‘One means produced for TK Maxx, two is “close out buy” that is unsold from another brand,’ Daniel went on.  

‘Seven is “pack-away” which means it’s been packed for a previous year, like Christmas crackers bought in January for the following year.

In the show, airing on Sunday at 7pm, Daniel explained that items who have a number'two' on their tag mean they are genuine bargains and used to sell for a higher price for another brand

In the show, airing on Sunday at 7pm, Daniel explained that items who have a number ‘two’ on their tag mean they are genuine bargains and used to sell for a higher price for another brand

‘It’s excess stock or something like that,’ he added. 

The former employee explained that number ‘one’ items are good value, but they are not bargains.  

‘You can get good value for money on a type one. It could be that just the sheer volume they are producing means they can price it cheaper,’ he said. 

‘The real bargains you are looking for are a two and a seven for sure. 

‘That’s also part of the treasure hunt when I got into a store as I’m constantly going “oh that’s a type two, that’s a real bargain there”,’ he added. 

In a statement on the TV show, TK Maxx said: ‘Some of our merchandise is manufactured for us and some we design.

‘A small percentage is from previous seasons or timeless classics.

Another hot tip all employees know at TK Maxx is to wax the clothes rails so that they don't make a squeaky sound

Another hot tip all employees know at TK Maxx is to wax the clothes rails so that they don’t make a squeaky sound 

‘New deliveries arrive several times a week, containing thousands of items, and our associates display this fast-changing stock typically by size and category — creating the “treasure-hunt” experience our shoppers love.’

And the former senior merchandiser revealed these secret numbers go up to nine. However, he added a few of them are not used, and not all are significant to customers.

The brand often uses tactics to lure customers in.  

Former team leader Jodie Evans, who worked at TK Maxx from 2010 to 2015, revealed in the documentary: ‘We used to hash the products through the rails. If you have three size small, we might put one at the start . . . one in the middle and one at the end.’

Daniel revealed the tactic behind the scheme, saying: ‘We wanted to have only one of everything on the racks because it meant that when (shoppers) saw it, they were adamant they had to buy it there and then.’

Another hot tip all employees know at TK Maxx is to wax the clothes rails. 

‘It allows you to glide the products through the rails quite easily without that horrible squeaky, scratchy sound you often hear at many retailers,’ Jodie said. 

Everything is thought out in TK Maxx, down to the layout of the store. 

Daniel said: ‘A lot of the things people really want they put at the back of the store.’

The merchandiser revealed customers have no choice but to walk past racks filled with other items in order to get to the items they are really after.  

And the longer it takes them to get to the items, the more time they spend with the store, and the more likely they will leave with other buys.  

Speaking in the documentary, Tony Morgan, a former head of visual merchandising at Selfridges, added: ‘It’s all about the journey to find something, to search for it, to get it, to get it in the bag and get it home.’

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