Emily VanSchmus | 

Store Restock 101: Here's When Your Favorite Stores Stock Their Shelves

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There’s nothing more frustrating than making the trip to a physical store, only to find out the item you specifically came for is out of stock. And there’s nothing better than walking into a store before anyone else when new product hits the shelves. In both cases, knowing the store restock schedule comes in handy. Luckily, most major retailers have a pretty predictable restock schedule, so you can plan your errands accordingly.

To answer the question of “when do stores restock their shelves?”, we researched the restock schedules at popular stores like lululemon, Best Buy, Marshalls, and Ross. And we didn’t stop at the in-store restock schedule — we looked at when they restock items on their websites, too. Consider this your cheat sheet if you’ve been scouting out a new product release or a certain size of clothing that always seems to fly off the shelves.

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1. Look for lululemon online restocks on Thursday around 5 p.m. ET, but in-store restock schedules vary.

people checking out at lululemon outlet store

The most popular products at lululemon — like the ultra-popular belt bag and the Scuba hoodie — tend to sell out almost as soon as they get released. Luckily, the lululemon online restock schedule is super predictable.

When does lululemon restock online?

lululemon restocks their online products on Thursday afternoons. Users report that these online restocks typically happen around 5 p.m. ET.

The “We Made Too Much” section of the website gets restocked every Thursday around 11 a.m. ET.

When does lululemon restock in stores?

As for lululemon’s in-store restock schedule, it depends on the location. Call your local store to find out when to shop for specific items. If you have your eye on a sold-out product, you can sign up for email updates to get notified when they have it in stock.

2. Marshalls restocks their shelves every Monday and Friday, but the biggest restock happens on Friday.

empty marshalls shopping cart in the marshalls store

Shoppers have reported that Marshalls typically restocks on Mondays and Fridays. Because Marshalls stores get so busy on the weekends, they usually save their biggest restocks for Fridays, ahead of the weekend rush.

That means your best bet for finding fresh stuff is to shop at Marshalls on Friday evening or first thing Saturday morning.

3. Best Buy restocks happen on Tuesday mornings, with items appearing on shelves later that afternoon.

crowded best buy store

Keep in mind that this doesn’t always apply to popular new products, like the latest editions of the PlayStation or Xbox. These items usually have limited stock, so you’ll want to call your local Best Buy if you’re searching for something specific.

4. Five Below restocks new Squishmallows on select Sunday mornings.

Someone holding up a Squishmallows in Five Below

We’ve been tracking the Five Below Squishmallow restocks for a while now, and whenever we hear about a new restock on the horizon, they always happen on Sunday mornings at 5 a.m. ET on their website and in stores at 11 a.m. local time (or whatever time your store opens on Sundays).

Once the Squishmallow restock comes out, they don’t get a new shipment, so the new characters often get snatched up right away (especially if you buy online and pick up in-store). They can sell out within 15 minutes!

5. Fresh Aldi Finds hit the shelves every Wednesday or Sunday, depending on where you live.

summer 2023 aldi finds aisle with app signage

Since a new Aldi weekly ad comes out each Wednesday (for most stores), Wednesday morning is the best time to shop at Aldi for the largest selection of new Aldi Finds.

Employees typically put new items out on shelves the night before the new ad sale starts, so if you go to your store late on a Tuesday night, you may get first dibs on hot products like Aldi dupes, collectible gnomes, and Disney items.

TIP: Some Aldi stores start their weekly ad on Sunday instead of Wednesday, with deals lasting through the following Saturday. Whether your store starts their weekly sale on a Wednesday or a Sunday, you’ll always be able to see a sneak peek of the next week’s upcoming Aldi Finds.

6. Walmart restocks their shelves every 3 to 5 days — with grocery aisles restocked each night.

A woman paying at the checkout line at Walmart standing next to a shopping cart with two Roku tvs in it

Walmart restocks most general merchandise items every 3 – 5 days. Like Target, Walmart stocks their shelves overnight (from about 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. at the latest) — so if you’re looking for a specific item, you should shop first thing in the morning, around 7 a.m.

The Walmart restock schedules vary by location, so you’ll need to call your local store to ask. Keep in mind that the schedule varies for each department, so perishable grocery items won’t get stocked the exact same day and time as canned soup, for example. I’ve learned not to shop for fresh produce on Sundays or Mondays because the shelves look pretty bare.

7. T.J.Maxx gets new shipments on weekdays, and new clearance items hit shelves on Monday.

A woman searching through clearance shoes.

When does T.J.Maxx restock their clearance items?

New markdowns happen every Monday morning at T.J.Maxx to make room for that week’s new inventory. Shop on Mondays for the best clearance deals, or shop later in the week (but before the weekend) for the largest selection of products.

8. Dollar Tree restocks happen about once or twice a week.

An aisle of Dollar Tree Plus priced items in Dollar Tree

Our Dollar Tree deal finders report that their Dollar Tree stores get a new shipment of products every Thursday. As for when the items actually hit the shelves, it depends on staffing.

The day after a major holiday, you can expect to see fresh clearance markdowns at Dollar Tree.

9. Most Target stores restock nightly between midnight and 6 a.m. (including in the Dollar Spot section).

person shopping the target bullseye dollar spot in target store

But if you have your eye on something that the physical store doesn’t have, I recommend ordering it online. If your order is at least $35, you can take advantage of their two-day free shipping. You can also download the Target app to get notified when items come back in stock online or at your store.

When does Target restock the Dollar Spot?

The Target Dollar Spot section gets restocked daily (with backstock items) and seasonally (with the current season’s items). To get an idea of what’s out now, see our list of the latest Target Dollar Spot finds.

When does Target restock grocery items?

Shoppers report that some Target stores also restock perishables and fresh grocery items daily each afternoon. So there’s usually plenty of inventory if you need to make a quick after-work stop for dinner ingredients.

10. Ross restocks happen overnight on weekdays.

exterior of ross dress for less

Ross restocks their stores overnight, and they only receive shipments during the week. Some stores have a dedicated restock day. When I called my local store to ask, they just said it would happen “later in the week,” so it varies by location.

When does Ross restock with new markdowns?

No matter which day your Ross restocks, weekly markdowns always happen on Mondays.

11. Ikea restocks smaller items every 2 to 3 days, but large items get restocked once a week.

person shopping in the ikea as-is section

As for the “As-is” clearance area at Ikea, it gets restocked with fresh markdowns often — every time someone returns something to the warehouse. Since Ikea stores are busiest on weekends, you might have the best chance at fresh clearance goods if you shop on Monday mornings.

12. Costco restocks before the warehouse opens, so nothing stays out of stock for too long.

a person pushing a cart and shopping at costco

Costco warehouses usually restock in the wee hours of the morning, before the store opens. There doesn’t seem to be a standard day of the week when Costco restocks happen, but they do stay pretty on top of inventory from my experience. If an item is sold out, you can usually expect to see it restocked within 24 – 72 hours.

Bakery items and fresh food (like their famous rotisserie chicken) get restocked daily, usually in the morning. Keep in mind that not all Costco warehouses have the same inventory, and they may choose to stock items on a different cadence.

The monthly Costco sales typically last 26 days and kick off on a Wednesday and end on a Sunday (see our Costco Coupon Book post for more details).

TIP: We also did the digging to find out the best time to go to Costco if you want to avoid the crowds.

13. Sam’s Club restocks their shelves constantly, with most restocks happening between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.

hand holding a bottle of head & shoulders by a sign for 5.81

Sam’s Club restocks happen throughout the week, according to our Sam’s Club deal finders. The majority of the restocking occurs during the Plus hours in the morning (from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.), when crowds are typically lighter and it’s easier to maneuver around the store.

As for markdowns, there’s no particular day or time that they happen at Sam’s Club. Markdowns are at the manager’s discretion, so they can happen whenever they decide it’s time to move a product off the shelves.

14. Dollar General stocks all day, every day (typically in the morning and early afternoon).

dollar general one dollar deals section

In a well-kept Dollar General store (which can be a rare find!), it’s typically the morning and early afternoon shifts who handle restocking the shelves.

When do stores restock clearance items?

About six times a year, you can expect a Dollar General Clearance event, with fresh markdowns that help to clear out store shelves after major holidays.

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