In a Time of Physical Shrinkage, TJX Looks to Grow

Framingham, Mass.–In a time when many brick-and-mortar retailers are shuttering stores and diverting resources to online operations, The TJX Companies Inc. is going the other way.

Company President and CEO Ernie Herrman told Wall Street analysts Tuesday that the company’s “enormous global store growth potential” was among the factors expected to drive growth in the future.

Currently, TJX operates 3,675 stores: T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post in the United States as well as stores in Canada, Australia and Europe.

Herrman, who became CEO in February after the departure of Carol Meyrowitz, said this number could grow by more than 50 percent, eventually reaching 5,600 stores worldwide.

“This reflects the opportunity we see with just our current chain and just our current markets alone. And that’s before contemplating the potential to expand into new countries or open new chains in existing markets,” he said during the company’s second quarter earnings call.

The TJX Companies was among the few brick-and-mortar retailers that had a strong 2015, and that success has continued into the first half of fiscal year 2016.

In the post-recession retail world, off-price has been the leader, with companies such as TJX thriving and traditional department stores investing in off-price chains. Two examples are The Find @ Lord & Taylor and Macy’s Inc., which has been opening more Macy’s Backstage stores while shuttering full-line (non-outlet) locations.

In the second quarter ended July 30, the TJX Companies’ same-store sales were up 4 percent year-over-year and total sales rose from $7.34 billion to $7.88 billion, a 7 percent increase.

Net income was up 2 percent to $562.2 million.

Year-to-date, TJX’s comps are up 6 percent and total sales have risen 8 percent. Net income is $1.07 billion, up from $1.02 billion at this point last year, a 5 percent increase.

“We are convinced that we are gaining consumer market share as our excellent values on a compelling selection of brands and fashions are drawing customers to our retail brands around the world. We also are very pleased that our apparel, including accessories, and home businesses both performed well,” Herrman said in a company statement. “We believe our robust sales, customer traffic and merchandise margins all speak to the strength of our off-price retail model.”

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