Craving a bit of retail therapy, I took a tour of the new Homesense near Costco in East Hanover. My big questions: just how is it different from HomeGoods (which is conveniently located just two stores down), and just how many items will I instantly love? Here’s a quick run down of how the two stores compare:
The overall feel to Homesense is lighter and brighter. It’s got more of a warehouse feel with high exposed ceilings and clean white drop lights highlighting everything. Surveying the store from the front I still experienced the scavenger hunt type thrill that HomeGoods inspires, I just felt that it would be slightly more upscale.
I will admit I expected the same basic layout as similar stores, and Homesense surprised me. Items are still grouped by type, but the checkout is located in the middle of the right side of the store rather than the front. I didn’t immediately recognize it (though I was pretty overwhelmed by all the many wonderful things to see) and even directed someone towards the checkout on my way out. I habitually bear right when entering a store, and this threw me off my game a bit. Everything is clearly marked, however, and once I get used to the layout I’m sure I’ll be just fine!
If I had to simply state the difference between the types of items carried by each, I would say Homesense is the urban, more upscale/expensive little sister with a surprising practical streak. You’ll still find lots of rugs, lighting, art and furniture as well as kitchen gadgets, gourmet foods, gifting and home decor. While I saw some of the very same pieces of furniture in the Parsippany HomeGoods just last week, there are definitely more upscale brands and price tags, which is a great new option when looking for a special piece. What’s different is what Homesense calls their “General Store,” which includes cleaning supplies, decorative hardware and fashionable home improvement products. It was a fun surprise to see bolts of fabric, wallpaper and an amazing copper tub! As with HomeGoods I suspect you’ll have to snap up the pieces you like because you probably won’t see them again, but I’m interested to see how much the products will overlap between the two moving forward.
Homesense is billed as a discount home furnishings store. You’ll still see some fabulous velvet chairs for $300, but also the decorative glass bull for $999. So some of the same price points but some additional glam as well.
After touring Homesense I did walk two storefronts down to see how a HomeGoods would compare. I found it dimmer/cozier without the high ceilings and bright lighting. And, I was a bit more relaxed perhaps because I knew the layout so well and the checkouts seemed to be precisely where I thought they should be.
Overall, I’d say that HomeGoods will be my quick go-to for less expensive impulse-purchase home decor, while Homesense will be my destination for that special lamp or rug, and oh look what else I discovered I needed, too. But let’s be honest, I’ll probably go to both, since they’re so conveniently located next to each other, to make sure I don’t miss anything!