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TJX Cos. bucks retail’s store closure trend


As a number of traditional chains across the industry continue to struggle, TJX Cos. is being called one of the country’s fastest growing retailers.

Traditional retailers industry-wide are blaming shifting consumer tastes, digital options and new competitors for not only stealing their wallet share, but for declining foot traffic and related sales. However, this could not be farther from the truth for TJX Cos.

The off-price giant operated more than 3,800 stores at the end of 2016, and has a long-term vision to expand its store base by approximately 50%, to 5,600 stores. TJX plans to expand its breadth solely by focusing on its current chains and markets, the company said.

However, the company credits its success to more grassroots factors. One of these includes the instincts of merchandise buyers who are picking merchandise that creates a constant treasure hunt. The company employs more than 1,000 buyers who purchase apparel and merchandise across other categories from more than 18,000 suppliers around the globe, according to the Wall Street Journal.

CEO Ernie Herrman is also taking advantage of the ongoing “disruption” in retailing, an issue that is forcing department stores to cancel orders, leaving manufacturers with too much merchandise. However, TJX is scooping up this glut of merchandise at bargain prices, according to the Wall Street Journal.

However, getting this merchandise onto the sales floor is paramount to driving sales. That’s why TJX has created an internal mantra, “door to floor in 24,” that requires merchandise arriving at stores on trucks in the morning be moved straight onto the sales floor that same evening, the report said

It is a formula that has contributed to a 1% sales increase among stores open for one year for the first quarter ended April 29.

Net sales for the first quarter increased 3% to $7.8 billion. While this was a decline from a 7% increase a year earlier, Herrman is not concerned. Rather, he is keeping his eye on the prize, and steadily bolstering his store fleet — and outfitting stores with recently acquired merchandise.

During the first quarter, the retailer increased its store count by 50 stores to a total of 3,862 stores in nine countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Austria, the Netherlands, and Australia. These include 1,191 T.J. Maxx, 1,039 Marshalls, 596 HomeGoods and 12 Sierra Trading Post stores in the United States; 258 Winners, 109 HomeSense, and 61 Marshalls stores in Canada; 515 T.K. Maxx and 46 HomeSense stores in Europe; and 35 T.K. Maxx stores in Australia.
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