I had to make my weekly trip to the local HomeGoods store in Annapolis Maryland (now that my house is fully decorated, I no longer make a daily trip LOL) earlier this month and I noticed that there was a massive new construction not far from the HomeGoods entrance with a huge sign announcing a new HomeSense Annapolis store location. I shrieked with excitement once I realized that TJX was opening a new location of their sister retail chain, HomeSense, in the same shopping center! Needless to say, my fiance was not thrilled with this revelation. He knows that anything home decor will take all my coins, but ah welp!
Anyways, I decided to see what deets I could glean from the HomeGoods employees. I remembered that I thought this brand would be a HomeGoods on crack and large scale because I saw this video on Facebook last year as they were gearing up to open their first US store:
The employees didn’t have too much information, but they told me that the new HomeSense store would not be in competition with HomeGoods and instead would specialize in larger sets and upscale, high-ticket items like chandeliers. It was at that moment that I knew you all would want to see just how these two brands were different. So, I decided to make sure I was present at the HomeSense Annapolis store grand opening.
The Homesense Annapolis Store Grand Opening
Well, after some stalking of the store’s progress and some internet research, I was able to figure out that the HomeSense Annapolis location was opening much sooner than I planned. The grand opening was set for September 20, 2018.
The grand opening rapidly approached and I got up bright and early that day for the 8am-10pm grand opening hours. And I was amazed to find a packed store when I walked up to the entrance just before 8:05 am!
First, let me mention some of the things that I didn’t like before I forget LOL:
- The aisles were way too narrow to accommodate the droves of excited customers. Most aisles simply could not accommodate two shopping carts passing each other by.
- The layout was a bit weird. I walked by the checkout counter BY ACCIDENT because it was in the middle of the store on the right between two store sections … instead of the front or back.
- There really isn’t enough parking in this plaza to accommodate a HomeGoods and HomeSense practically right next to each other.
- I was disappointed, given the size of the store, that I couldn’t find some of the items I was looking for (they told me some of my items that I was searching for were seasonal, but I disagree).
To see my full review of the goods & bads of this HomeSense Annapolis location, scroll to the bottom of this post
Ok, now back to the grand opening tour…
I was greeted by some TJX executives in the front who were really nice and curious why I was carrying my DSLR hahaha. One of them was nice enough to snap a pic of me fluffing pillows on a sofa.
Once I entered the store, I was greeted by another woman and a large swag area filled with free branded tote bags… which of course I grabbed. I thought the initial impression upon entry was dazzling… like Disneyland!
Immediately to my right, where the huge pile of free totes was, was a beautifully-styled “curated corner”, which I would find all throughout the store. These were strategically placed in front of major store sections and were sure to inspire people to decide to redecorate an entire room on the spot LOL. As a note, HomeGoods also has curated areas, but they are few and far between and definitely don’t include as many pieces for a cohesive look.
This first curated corner was styled like a chic office with gold accents… to catch shoppers’ eyes and get them to walk over to the first section… for offices. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to visit a HomeGoods for office furniture and knick-knacks, but it’s usually a hodgepodge shopping experience. You end up finding one or two things you love, but not enough to make a set. Well, this chain has a well-organized section full of office goodies and decor items! Next to the office section was a laundry and home organization section.
Here are a few other curated corners that I loved [click to scroll through the gallery of curated corners]:
Just beyond the laundry section, I accidentally bumped into the checkout counter, but the small decor items along the checkout line caught my eye… they seemed to be more high-end than what I usually see lining the same area in HomeGoods.
On the other side of the checkout area was a pillow and throw heaven… except I didn’t find the leopard pillows for which I have desperately searched for months.
And right next to that were aisles upon aisles of decorative accents to satisfy all types of decor styles.
Once you got past all of the decorative accents, that is when you really started to see the difference in this brand from the sister HomeGoods stores. The next several areas were filled with dozens of chairs (from bar stools to living chair sets, accent, and office chairs), hundred of rugs, and tons of larger furniture for kitchens, living rooms, dining areas, and bedrooms [click 2nd image to scroll through gallery].
Another unique store section was the immense lighting area that took up at least a quarter of the store’s floor. From chandeliers to floor and table lamps, it would be hard not to find the perfect lighting for any room (even though I didn’t find the gold based table lamps with black shades that I have been searching for) [click the image below to scroll through the massive lighting section]:
In the middle of the store, there were several “home store”-style sections that were made up of specialty areas to find kitchen goods, entertaining items, holiday decorations, gifts, and spa stuff. There was an ENTIRE aisle of coffee table books!
Phew! I took a lot of photos!
I ended up buying a few items… a couple of matching laundry baskets and these:
So, how do you know which store to go to… HomeGoods vs HomeSense?
My sweet man asked me how my shopping experience was and what the difference was between the two stores (so cute that he cares LOL). I tried to explain to him and this is what I said:
HomeSense is like a HomeGoods warehouse. Each section is on steroids. HomeGoods is perfect if you are looking for something specific (but not large furniture pieces or chandeliers) or if you are looking for bath furnishings like bath linens or mats (which HomeSense doesn’t seem to sell). HomeGoods also has a robust pet and kids section that I didn’t see at HomeSense. If you want interior design overload or when you just want to furnish and style an entire room or area, HomeSense is best.
If you want a more detailed explanation, here are a few major differences between the store in a list.
HomeSense doesn’t carry bedding, bath linens or mats, or pet/kids stuff
Where HomeGoods and HomeSense overlap in inventory, the HomeSense section will be much larger
HomeSense is best if you are looking to redecorate an entire room or area or if you want inspiration
HomeSense sells large furniture like beds, tubs and dining sets
HomeGoods is great if you are looking for smaller decorative accents
Both stores have home decor, small kitchen appliances, gift stuff, spa stuff, framed art, mirrors, coffee table books, and lamps
HomeSense’s lighting section is magnificent
Both stores have comparable prices
I hope this article was helpful! If you are looking for a location near you, check out the store locator (there are currently only a handful of these stores in the US, but they are scheduling new constructions rapidly).
P.S. What do you think about HomeGoods vs HomeSense? What are the main differences you experienced? Which store do you visit more?
HomeSense Annapolis Plaza
150 Jennifer Rd
Annapolis, MD 21401
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