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I'll admit it: I've never stepped foot inside a Costco. I know, I know, you can stop clutching your pearls! I didn't have one in my hometown or college town, and now I live in NYC and am at the mercy of public transit, so bulk-buying is out of the question.
But even so, I do know one thing to be true: People who shop at Costco love it — like, really really LOVE it. So it seems about right that the warehouse club ranks No. 1 in people's hearts for the best place to shop home furnishings, according to a survey out from Market Force. This is based on a "composite loyalty index," which took into account shoppers' satisfaction with recent visits, as well as their likelihood to recommend it to others.
Analysts also dove into shoppers' ratings on factors like price value, merchandise variety, eco-friendly products, customer service and checkout speed. Here are the spots that won out.
America's Favorite Home Goods Stores
1. Costco: Come for the free food samples, stay for the décor offerings. The membership-only club ranked highest for its staff availability — a necessary element considering they sell everything from mattresses to bar carts to juicers in their home section alone.
2. IKEA: I nearly had an existential crisis trying to furnish my first New York apartment, considering I had just dropped thousands on a rental deposit and was still sleeping on an air mattress. But then a trip to IKEA saved the day, as it does for so many.
Despite being the No. 2 favorite home décor spot, it ties for first in highest ratings across the most factors: merch availability, merch variety, value and eco-friendly products. So I guess if you can weather the inevitable argument with your partner, a trip to the land of Swedish meatballs can be worth it.
3. Target: Was your freshman year dorm room was basically a Target ad for its color-coordinated college collection? Of course it was; we all had that room in pink, blue or green.
Turns out, its overall home furnishings also land high on this list. While editor Christine Aebischer says checkout can be questionable (get your act together, Jersey City!), selection and a well-stocked inventory make Target her go-to for nearly everything, including in the home accessories department.
4. T.J. Maxx: I make two rules for myself anytime I step in a T.J. Maxx: 1) Don't go in unless you're ready to spend hours there, and 2) Don't go in with any expectations of what you'll find. Despite the hit-or-miss selection (not to mention, difficulty finding what you actually need), what it does have on hand generally does the job of looking good — and at a low cost. As deputy editor Julia Chang puts it: "It often has things that look like marble lawn ornaments in their housewares department that look fancy and expensive, but then when you pick them up, they're like 2 oz. in weight."
More room to load up on other things then, right?
5. Kohl's: Kohl's has a pretty run-of-the-mill housewares selection as department stores go, but the visitors there are brand-loyal. The retailer had the highest share of shoppers who participate in the store loyalty program and use a store-branded credit card.
6. HomeGoods: HomeGoods — or as editor Amy DiLuna puts it, the greatest store of all time — has its fair share of super fans, thanks to trendy accessories at an affordable price. It also stood out for overall service and staff availability.
7. Bed Bath & Beyond: I may not have an Abbi Jacobson-level obsession with BB&B, but I do appreciate that I can almost always expect 20% off my purchase thanks to a healthy dose of email coupons. The store also ranks high for merchandise variety (I swear they carry every "as seen on TV" product) and speedy checkouts.
8. Big Lots: Its no-frills showrooms land Big Lots high on the list for easy-to-find merchandise, which ranges from furniture sets to small appliances.
9. Walmart: It may be one of the OG retailers to offer everything under the sun, but shoppers don't turn here for their home furnishings quite as often. It scored dead last in customer loyalty, merch availability, checkout speed, value, courtesy and friendliness, and overall service.