Walmart is everywhere and not everybody is happy about it, especially other retailers in virtually every market, from grocery to home décor and garden supplies. Walmart prices are impossible to beat, so the competition suffers, but it’s quite beneficial for us, the consumer. There is a Walmart somewhere close wherever you live, it’s huge, stocked to the brim, and cheap, so understandably the pull is hard to resist, but let’s take a look at something else here.
If you find yourself in the need of home supplies and décor items, you can always go to Walmart and enjoy affordable things from China. Or you can also go to Pier 1, find everything you need faster and marvel at all the selection available from all over the world. If you think you might enjoy the second option, you are with us.
We decided to compare Walmart and Pier 1 strictly in home goods department and made some interesting observations.
How does Walmart and Pier 1 compare financially?
Walmart is definitely doing well and is continuing its expansion online with grocery ordering, home goods, and furniture orders. New and updated features increased online traffic by 35% as of late.
Pier 1 has definitely seen better times and seems to be succumbing to ecommerce stealing away business from traditional retailers. It has been in steady decline with 13.5% drop in sales in the first quarter of this year and with expected closure of 57 stores by 2020.
Let’s take a look at how home goods shopping experience compares and which retailer comes out a winner:
What was our Pier 1 experience like?
We walked into Pier 1 store in Newport Beach, CA and liked what we saw right away. The store was extremely clean and bathing in a warm light, providing very cozy atmosphere. The retailer often has sales, and this time was no exception – we happen to visit during their semi-annual sale, so the deals were very sweet.
Our shopping started at the wooden shelves full of discounted candles sorted by color, which looked totally inviting. The entire corner was devoted to candles with prices like 2 for $20 for 3-whick candles.
Lanterns nearby were all 25% off, so these two locations could solve any lighting need anybody might have and do that affordably.
Next was section for bath and body needs. Thanks to the great deals some bins were empty and with a good reason – most items there were $5.
Following that we discovered a section for decorative pillows. The entire wall was chock-full of them and featured Buy One, Get One ½ off sale, which was very enticing. Next were walls of clocks for every taste – from rustic to super modern.
Wherever we went in the store, we observed how extraordinary every item was, it had character, colors, and we could tell they all were hand-selected by people who really care about beauty in the home, not just stocking it with whatever. Granted, some items were more for the looks than usability, but who doesn’t like that once in a while?
The store has a computer station for people to look for specific items online if they didn’t have any luck in the physical location. Close by there was advertisement for loyalty program and point earning for future discounts, which seemed like a good option.
- Extra 25% OFF Your Purchase of Clearance Merchandise
- Free Shipping on all Orders Over $49
- 70% OFF Sale & Clearance Items
The rest of the store contained heavily discounted statues, charming nick knacks, baubles, décor items, and furniture. Some items were grouped together for decoration ideas, but most were randomly located all over the store, making it a bit hard to see everything, but encouraging wondering around.
Impulse buyer in all of us could rejoice finding $4 artificial plant balls, discounted artwork, and plentiful clearance items. Once in a while some stuff was pricier, but it would be hard to find 100% wool rugs for a few dollars everywhere else too.
All in all, we had a great time shopping and really enjoyed the atmosphere and the displays. The prices were not biting too.
What was Walmart like?
Walmart was nearby and definitely projected a different vibe right from the start. We were covering only home goods part of it, otherwise we could’ve been here all day. It was quite an achievement just to find the Home section in all the hugeness of this place.
We didn’t see any specific sales there, but everyday prices are low enough to beat other competitors’ sales pricing with ease.
The offerings were understated to say the least. Everything you could possibly need was here, but lacked character. Yes, you could find plastic bins, storage containers, buckets, bowls, a section for patriotic home décor, and cute garbage bins. Bamboo torches were just $2.50 each! Most furniture was not on display, so you had to determine what things would look like just by looking at a picture on the box.
There were also many kitchen supplies and appliances, bath section with towels and soap holders, desk lamps, clocks, and other necessities. All of it was meant for stocking the home without much thought put in it. The prices were definitely great, but nothing stood out and called our name.
The store even had a section for candles with no fewer items than Pier 1, but displayed on cold metal industrial shelves they lost the romantic appeal. There was a huge display of religious candles for just $1.42 each. We also found a wall of pillows that rivaled that at Pier 1. Discounted pillows were going for just $4-$5 – again, hard to beat.
In conclusion, Walmart had it all, but lacked character and satisfaction for those of us who have a vision for décor and an eye for beauty. It’s a perfect place for a college student looking to stock his or her dorm room for cheap, but if you come to add warmth and style to your home, our suggestion is to go somewhere else, like Pier 1, while it’s still around.