Marshalls store with sign (l) worker speaking with caption 'is not the same as Calvin Klein product that is in store most times' (c) Calvin Klein store with sign (r)

JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock Arne Beruldsen/Shutterstock @newmanparkerr/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘Calvin Klein product from TJ Maxx … is not the same as Calvin Klein product that is in store’: Worker says this is why he doesn’t shop at TJ Maxx, Marshalls

‘As a former general manager at Calvin Klein this is facts’


Jack Alban


If you’ve ever shopped at an “off-price” retail store like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or Ross Dress for Less, you probably have some across some name brand clothes that cost significantly less than their offerings at other more “bougie” name brand outlets like Nordstrom.

You may have also noticed that the quality of some of these items offered at “off-price” stores, when compared to their boutique counterparts.

TikToker Newman Parker (@newamanparkerr) has added more fuel to the fire of this made-for-discount conspiracy in a stitched video response to fellow user Bethenny Frankel, who went on a verbal tear against off-price department stores purportedly selling fake versions of luxury items.

Parker, a former Calvin Klein employee, however, says that the fakes, which are often returns from customers trying to pull the ole switcheroo on unsuspecting store associates, isn’t the only thing folks have to worry about when making purchases at these off-price chains, however, and he delineated why in this viral TikTok.

@newmanparkerr #stitch with @Bethenny Frankel this doesn’t mean you won’t find a genuinely good deal that was overstock or soemthing; but it’s more common you’re buying a lower quality version of the real deal. #licensing #licensingagreement #tjmaxx #marshalls #calvinklein #thetruth ♬ original sound – newmanparkerr

He states in the clip: “Beyond them selling fake goods here’s the reason why I don’t shop at places like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, etc., I used to work at Calvin Klein, in fact it was my first job when I was 16. When I worked at Calvin Klein, they explicitly told us not to ever accept a return from Marshalls, TJ Maxx, or from Macy’s and of the like. Yes it was purchased at a different store and it should go back to their store because of inventory, but there was a bigger reason.”

And that bigger reason was quality.

“It’s because Calvin Klein product from Macy’s or TJ Maxx or from Marshalls is not the same as Calvin Klein product that is in store most times.”

Parker explained: “Due to licensing. If you’re not familiar with licensing let me explain it so quickly to you. Let’s use the Barbie movie as an example. Is Mattel producing the Beis luggage that is Barbie luggage? Is Mattel producing the pink Barbie lip gloss that NYX is making? No, they’re being produced by other companies but those companies are paying to use the Barbie name.”

So what’s happening with a lot of name brand clothes found at discount department stores, Parker claims, is that there are other companies paying for the licensing fees associated with these products: “Just like Marshalls is paying Calvin Klein to use theirs. There are licensing agreements and agreed upon materials lists, but it’s usually cheaper garments sold for a ‘deal.’”

TikTokers had a variety of different responses to Parker’s clip, there was one viewer who stated that they don’t necessarily shop at these spots in the hopes of securing some name brand products for flexing purposes, but only to get themselves some decent clothes at a good price: “See I go to those stores for affordable clothes, I do not care what the label is or if it’s real or not if it’s cheap.”

Another said that Macy’s, which used to be a reputable brand selling good quality clothing has basically become an “off-price” department store under the guise of a premium one: “Macys now = tjmaxx…i remember when Macys used to be a nice store”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Calvin Klein via email, and Parker via Instagram DM for further comment.

One user appeared to push back against Parker’s claim, stating that they’ve never had a problem shopping at stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross Dress for Less: “I’m poor. Ross, TJ [Maxx] and Marshall’s have clothed me my entire life. I have tons of clothes from there that I’ve had for 5+ years.”

“It’s cheaper for legit equivalent product. Ima stick with Marshall’s and Home Goods, my fav!,” another said.

One person tried boiling Parker’s video down into a pithy sentence, writing: “so it’s the outlet version of the real brand…”

However, the TikToker delineated what he meant in the video further, stating: “Not exactly. There are pieces that are made for outlet by the brand, and then there are pieces made by third parties for licensed retailers”

One person uploaded their own anecdote stating that their boyfriend’s mother who works in the fashion industry told her information that was similar to the retail bombshell dropped in Parker’s video: “My bf’s mom works in fashion licensing and told me straight up to just buy it from the designer for this exact reason”

And if you’re Nordstrom Rack shopper who gets a thrill from purchasing top quality clothing products at a discounted price, then you may not want to read what this commenter had to say about the store: “Same thing at Nordstrom & the rack. Most the items at the rack were made for the rack. Designer jeans the ones made for Nordstrom were made in the USA”

The Daily Dot