21. East Islip
Converted from an abandoned Cheap John’s in Summer 1992, the East Islip Marshalls is a pastiche of 20th Century couture. Microsoft Zune and NOOK E-reader accessories adorn the checkout line racks. Pullover hoodies reading “B.U.M. Equipment” in all caps dominate the winter racks. The fitting rooms are atrociously maintained and disgustingly painted in neons. None of the staff answer to “Marshall!” which is an added disappointment.
In these troubled economic times, many Marshalls are merging with HomeGoods — no matter how irrelevant the added inventory seems. The Lawrence site is a prime example of the revolting results of this unholy coupling. Prior to the HomeGoods annex, this Marshalls housed a robust Pelle Pelle selection as well as a flourishing selection of professional sports jerseys in sizes XXL to XXXL. Gone now are those treasures. And what stands in their place? A “must-have” display of wicker loveseats. Oh no-no-no, Lawrence Marshalls. Tsk-tsk.
If you can make it past the broken automatic doors requiring at least 50 lbs. of force to pry them open, then you’ve made it farther than our reviewers. Patchogue Marshalls only beats numbers 20 and 21 on this list due to its proximity to popular bagel joint Bagel Lovers, which employs a daily Buy One, Get 12 Free promotion.
18. East Meadow
An unfortunately low street-to-sidewalk ratio makes the East Meadow Marshalls a walking hazard for its elderly pedestrians. It’s no surprise that six older patrons are injured at this location annually. Six older patrons who sadly will never make it inside to obstruct the narrow swimwear aisles, breathing heavily out of their mouths while massaging assorted fabrics.
A comically mismanaged Undergarments section leaves customers scavenging for answers. Seeking a trio-pack of Calvin Klein briefs? Good luck. All the packages were previously opened by some nefarious third party. Whatever underwear lingers behind is highlighted with odd markings in permanent ink. As if to further raise suspicion, Syosset Marshalls houses a robust section of individually packaged briefs on hangers. With significant markups, of course. No stars.
Seasonally depleted Ladies, Intimates, and Luggage sections leave much to be desired for shoppers at the Shirley Marshalls. Despite promises for a “Bigger and Better 2015,” none of last year’s ills have been remedied; a pair of men’s Relaxed Fit Levis size 48w/32l remains the sole clearance item in the Men’s department. Are the rumors of a new Shoe MegaShop true? We certainly hope so.
The newest location on the list, Marshalls Freeport is making waves with a modern electronics section stocked with appealing items. Actual iPad 2 covers and cellphone cases made in the last year abound, with only one horribly outdated HD-DVD copy of the 2007 Andy Samberg romp Hot Rod in the bargain bin. Keep an eye out for this Marshalls, folks. With the right selection of bedazzled rear-pocket women’s jeans, we could be talking about the Freeport Marshalls in the same breath as the Long Beach TJ Maxx.
14. New Hyde Park
Forever in the shadow of nearby Nordstrom Off The Rack, the New Hyde Park Marshalls is finally starting to turn heads. A new, progressive layout features not one but two wraparound clearance shoe racks (we can only hope that the hastily arranged, mismatched footwear will be remedied soon). Best of all, most men’s button-down shirts are free of that unspeakable mossy film that seems to coat all Marshalls button downs.
13. Stony Brook
Earns major points for its prime real estate location at a bustling outdoor shopping centre. Planning a romantic day out? Look no further than 2200 Neconset Highwy. Nestled within the same plaza as a six-screen multiplex and several dining options (including the North Shore’s only Red Lobster) you’ll find the Stony Brook Marshalls, standing like a beacon of bargains. Here’s hoping new general manager Ian Sherlip can thrust this location to the top 10 by year end. Is he savvy enough to step back and let his inventory do the talking? We shall see.
If you’re a frequent visitor to the Commack Marshalls, then you must be foolishly unaware that the nearby Jericho location has the same clearance items for several dollars less. It’s a Marshalls dilemma that’s plagued pundits for years. My theory is that Jericho manager Denise Esposito is purchasing items at the Commack Marshalls, returning them at her own Marshalls store, and restocking the new inventory at a lower price. Is it petty theft? Sure. But you won’t hear your wallet complaining.
Still reeling from a 2014 that saw three staffers fired for repeated lollygagging, the Jericho Marshalls is quickly becoming the jewel of mid-Nassau. Though her methods are unorthodox, it’s a steady doctrine of “wait and see” for manager Denise Esposito. She certainly has the gumption to push the envelope, but is it going too far? Case in point: Jericho is the only Long Island Marshalls to greet customers with selections from its Kitchen Goods department, relegating apparel to the rear. A bold choice, but ultimately one that falls flat.
Check back later in the week for the thrilling conclusion to our countdown! And don’t forget: never, Never, NEVER pay full price.™