TJ Maxx Strikes Continues to Strike a Positive Note
June may not have been a stellar month for retail, but TJ Maxx reported a sales surge of 9%, which amounted to $2.3 billion. The stores that fall under TJ Maxx’s umbrella include Marshalls (numbering over 885 stores), which TJ Maxx acquired in 1996, and Home Goods, a discounted home fashion chain, which they introduced 20 years ago. There are over 375 Home Goods stores across the country.
In keeping with the off-price retail theme of the parent company, Home Goods offers an ever-changing array of home fashion and décor that keeps customers coming back and attracting new shoppers every day.
Uninitiated shoppers may wonder, why should they bother having two stores in the stable that are so similar? Well, while TJ Maxx engineered the buyout of their biggest competitor, Marshalls, they sought to keep separate identities with a slightly different focus. While both stores share the same shopper base and deep discount philosophy, each has a distinct layout with somewhat different merchandise.
Marshall’s has a full line of footwear for the entire family, a trendy fashion section called ‘The Cube,” with an expanded Junior line and a large men’s department. TJ Maxx emphasizes changing fashions, brand-name apparel and in some of their stores, they feature a couture high-fashion area called ‘The Runway.” Adding home décor, a more expanded selection of fine jewelry and accessories; and beauty products puts TJ Maxx in a unique light.
CEO Carol Meyrowitz points out that 85% of the inventory for TJ Maxx and Marshalls is current-season merchandise and 85% is purchased directly from manufacturers. Most of it is identical to what department stores carry and less than 5% of their inventory is irregular.
With 700 buyers worldwide, TJ Maxx has offices in Italy, India and China, and these buyers work with about 14,000 vendors to come up with extremely cost-effective and creative buying, which filter down to the budget and deal-conscious consumer. To illustrate the breadth of diversity in their customer base, Meyrowitz indicates that yearly household incomes of their shoppers range from $40,000 to “several million dollars a year.”
With the expectation of continued expansion and growth in 49 states, there is ample opportunity for temporary and permanent employment, which recruitment firms will capitalize on. Merchandising positions, sales staff, assistant managers, supervisors, and warehouse associates are among the many jobs available in this successful stable of stores.
Analysts are very optimistic about the TJ Maxx empire, noting that the company is in a great position to compete with other retailers because of its vast range of styles and international product choices. An uncertain economy with shoppers tightening their purse strings, plus more store openings, should see increased consumer traffic. Whether shoppers feel financially confident or not, one thing is certain: Quality merchandise at an unbeatable price makes a bargain that’s hard for a consumer of any income level to pass up.