I went to the Hamptons TJ Maxx where celebrities like Amber Heard shop, and it's great for anyone looking to bargain hunt

·8 min read
I went to the Hamptons TJ Maxx where celebrities like Amber Heard shop, and it's great for anyone looking to bargain hunt
tj maxx in the hamptons
I visited the TJ Maxx in Bridgehampton where celebrities and locals shop.Rachel Askinasi/Insider
  • There's a TJ Maxx in Bridgehampton where celebrities and Hamptonites shop for designer goods.

  • I went to the discount store during a recent trip out east to see what it was like.

  • I saw a lot of Gucci accessories and heavily marked-down designer shoes.

While a lot of things in the Hamptons are overly expensive, TJ Maxx is a budget-friendly shopping option revered by locals and celebrities alike.

Jill Zarin and Amber Heard both shop at the TJ Maxx in the Hamptons
Jill Zarin (left) and Amber Heard (right) both shop at the Bridgehampton TJ Maxx.Johnny Nunez/Contributor/Getty Images and Allen Berezovsky/Contributor/Getty Images

On a recent trip to the Hamptons, I found that there are some hyped-up hot spots that aren't worth the visit.

But unlike a bakery with just-OK pastries or bars with hours-long lines, this celebrity-favorite discount retail store is a not-so-hidden gem.

Actor Amber Heard was spotted shopping at the store on June 16, and in a previous interview with Insider, reality star Jill Zarin called it "Saks Fifth Avenue in the Hamptons."

While I disagree with Zarin's comparison to Saks, I do think it's a great spot for bargain hunting.

On a recent trip out east, I decided to stop in to see what all the hype was about. From the outside, it looked like any other TJ Maxx.

TJ Maxx in the hamptons
TJ Maxx in Bridgehampton.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

The discount store is located in the Bridgehampton Commons shopping center off of Montauk Highway.

TJ Maxx sits next to its sister store Marshalls, an AT&T store, and a Walgreens.

It looked pretty standard inside as well. When I first walked in, I was hit with the familiar open floor plan of this discount chain.

TJ Maxx Hamtons
Inside TJ Maxx in Bridgehampton.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

After I walked in through the large shared entrance of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, I stepped into the former.

The 23,987-square-foot space felt open and organized with signage hanging from the ceiling and items neatly packed onto shelves.

As I made my way clockwise around the store, I first saw the large handbag collection.

TJ Maxx in the Hamptons bag section
There were four rows of handbags in the front of the store.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

I'm used to seeing Kate Spade and Michael Kors bags inside TJ Maxx stores, but there was also a variety of Moschino and Longchamp bags on the shelves.

One Love Moschino bag was on sale for $100 at the store while similar bags from the same collection were selling for around $300 on the brand's website at the time of writing.

Then came the beauty section, which was next to a bin of discounted yoga mats.

TJ Maxx in the hamptons
The beauty section (left) was neatly stocked next to a bin of yoga mats (right).Rachel Askinasi/Insider

I was impressed with how organized the store's beauty section was. It was around three retail islands big, which is sizeable but not huge in comparison to the bag section.

TJ Maxx was also selling Gaiam brand yoga mats for $9.99, which are currently listed at $25 on the brand's website.

On the other side was a large section for travel items and luggage.

TJ Maxx in the Hamptons
The luggage section was impressive.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

I was impressed with the variety in this section of the store. There were different sizes, styles, and brands of suitcases as well as travel bags and neck pillows.

I saw a Calpak eight-piece set (called the Starter Bundle online) on sale for $260 — it retails for $545 on the brand's website.

When I turned to start walking toward the back of the store, I noticed the display case of Gucci items.

Gucci display at TJ Maxx in the Hamptons
There was a whole case of Gucci.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

From phone cases to wallets to bags and fanny packs, there was a colorful array of Gucci accessories in this glass case. I couldn't just pick anything up to look at though — I would have had to enlist the help of a salesperson to unlock the door. But I was able to squat down and contort my body in such a way that I was able to read some of the hidden price tags.

The red fanny pack I saw was selling for $599 (it's currently priced between $700 and $1,000 on resale sites, as it is an older style) and one of the phone cases was priced at $130 (the same one is currently listed on eBay for $50).

A single rack of designer shoes was placed in The Runway section of the store.

shoes at TJ Maxx in the Hamptons
Some of them were discounted further.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

As I made my way to the section called The Runway, I first saw all the shoes on display.

There were Golden Goose sneakers priced at $400 (they are currently listed on the brand's website for $575) and Chloé sandals that were further discounted to $199 from $350 (they were originally priced at $650 on Farfetch).

Looking at this shoe rack, I could see why locals and celebrities shop here.

The rest of the shoes were placed beyond the designer clothes.

shoes at TJ Maxx in the Hamptons
The shoe section was huge.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

This looked more like the shoe section I'm used to seeing in a TJ Maxx. It was pretty void of designer labels, but there were lots of sizes and styles to choose from.

The Runway section is where most of the high-profile, designer clothing and accessories are hiding in plain sight.

TJ Maxx in the Hamptons
People shopping at The Runway in TJ Maxx.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

This was the busiest section of the store during my visit.

I watched as people sifted through the racks trying to find something special. It was smaller than I had expected it to be after hearing that this is a go-to celebrity spot.

Even though the section was relatively small, I still found some great deals sitting on the racks.

Frame jeans at TJ Maxx in the Hamptons
I love Frame jeans, but they're always more than I want to spend.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

This pair of Frame jeans had a retail tag marked at $250 and a TJ Maxx tag indicating a sales price of $70.

There was also a table of designer bags in this section.

designer bags at TJ Maxx in the Hamptons
The bag section was kind of a mess.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

This was the messiest section of the store, but it's hard to fit so many large bags on such a small table.

The handbags were secured to the store's property with security tags so that no one could just pick one up and walk out with it.

Another accessories case was next to this table. This one had Alexander McQueen wallets, Moschino belts, and a Balmain cosmetics case.

There were also non-designer clothing sections in the center of the store.

TJ Maxx in the Hamptons
The store isn't just for people looking for high-price items.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

The center of the retail floor was filled with more basic clothing items for those shoppers who don't care to spend the sometimes still-high prices on designer goods.

From kids' clothing to activewear, there was a lot to choose from.

When it came to children's goods, there was a lot to look through.

TJ Maxx in the hamptons
Toys, kids' clothes, and backpacks had their own mini sections.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

There was plenty to buy for children as well.

TJ Maxx was selling colorful backpacks, stuffed animals, games, sports clothing, and gifts for newborns, too.

Other sections were for home goods, sporting gear, and pet accessories.

TJ Maxx in the Hamptons
You could pick up housewares and clothing in one shopping trip.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

The beauty of TJ Maxx-type stores is that you can get a lot of shopping done at once.

You could stop by to check out the designer deals and then pick up any needed pots, fake plants, snacks, gym bags, or even dog beds.

While there were more designer items than I'm used to seeing in my local TJ Maxx, the rest of the store didn't seem much different from other locations — it was still decked out in the signature discount signage.

TJ Maxx in the Hamptons
Even with the designer items, it's still TJ Maxx.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

At the end of the day, this is still TJ Maxx, and you can't possibly forget that even when you're sifting through racks of BCBG and Gucci.

There are signs all over the place reminding you of the discounts to be had here, which can be comforting when you're in a town where coffee and a bagel can cost more than a three-pair set of Calvin Klein underwear (the set was $11).

I think that at the time of my visit, the store had more to offer by way of designer accessories than clothing. But it was still a lot more than what I've seen in other locations that also stock high-end goods.

While I didn't think it was anything ultra-fabulous, I think it's the kind of place that, if I lived nearby, I'd stop in every week or so to see if there are any enticing deals.

Read the original article on Insider