Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images
If you felt a sudden rumble this morning, that was just all of suburbia rejoicing at the news that HomeGoods has launched an online store. While I’m not usually one to balk at an opportunity to spend too much money from the comfort of my own bed, I gotta say … a “HomeGoods Online” runs counter to the spirit of the store — that spirit being a kitschy ghost decoration that says, “Buy these floral tea towels or else!’
For those unfamiliar with the chain, HomeGoods is like Target’s nice aunt. It’s like Bath & Body Works’ best friend. It’s not on the best of terms with its sister, T.J. Maxx, but they’ll still be cordial during holiday gatherings. Most important, HomeGoods is about discovery. It’s about chaos. It’s about convincing yourself that it’s okay to buy the likely expired chocolates because they’re on sale! Do you need clothes? Dishes? Seasonal bath mats? A wooden sign for your kitchen that says ‘KITCHEN’? A stool shaped like a strawberry? A pair of angel wings for your dog? No? Too bad! They’re already in your cart!
With its online storefront, how will I “accidentally” ram my broken shopping cart into the heels of a Rae Dunn enthusiast? How am I going to feel smug satisfaction at seeing someone head toward the Halloween display when I know I already grabbed the last pumpkin-patterned dog bed? How am I going to pick up a charcuterie board in the shape of a shark, show it to my husband, and go, “Haha, get it?!”
Internet shopping serves two purposes: buying a hyperspecific thing you don’t want to scour multiple stores for and making bad choices. While the latter is absolutely conducive to the HomeGoods business model, there’s something about a HomeGoods online shop that takes away part of its allure. Maybe it’s whatever they pump into the store to make it smell like soap and a mother’s scolding. Maybe it’s the physical inability to put down a throw pillow once you feel how soft and unnecessary it is. But I am not convinced that this little online shoppe will replicate the HomeGoods experience I crave.
Plus, you don’t go to HomeGoods looking for one specific thing. You go to HomeGoods and whatever you need will find you.