Rifling through the racks is an art at TJX stores. The TJX Companies operates nearly 3,400 stores worldwide under half a dozen retail brand names, including the two largest off-price clothing retailers in the US: T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, which operate 2,000-plus stores nationwide. T.J. Maxx sells brand-name family apparel, accessories, shoes, domestics, giftware, and jewelry at discount prices, while Marshalls offers similar items plus a broader selection of shoes and menswear through nearly 1,000 stores. Its HomeGoods chain of 500-plus US stores focuses exclusively on home furnishings. T.K. Maxx is the company's European retail arm with 400-plus stores in the UK, Ireland, Germany, and Poland.
T.J. Maxx and Marshalls (which the company refers to collectively in the US as Marmaxx) operate more than 2,000 US stores, which generate two-thirds of TJX Companies' total sales. They share similar retail concepts, and sell merchandise generally priced 20% to 60% below similar items at department stores. While Marshalls offers larger men's and shoe departments than T.J. Maxx and costume jewelry, both chains target deal-seeking consumers who usually shop at full-priced chains. Beyond Marmaxx in the US, TJX makes another 10% of its total sales from its more than 500 US HomeGoods stores, which sell home fashions in 47 states and Puerto Rico.
In Canada, the company operates more than 30 Marshalls stores, about 240 Winners discount apparel and home fashions stores, and nearly 100 HomeSense stores that offer merchandise similar to that of the HomeGoods chain in the US. In Europe (mostly around the UK), TJX operates two dozen HomeSense shops and over 400 T.K. Maxx stores, which offer a merchandise mix similar to T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and Winners stores. The company also operates Sierra Trading Post, an off-price Internet retailer.
TJX Companies rang up about 76% of its sales in the US in 2014, with stores in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The remainder is split between Europe (14% of sales) and Canada (10% of sales), where the retailer has stores in all 10 provinces. The UK is the company's largest market in Europe with almost 300 stores, followed by Germany (76 stores), Poland (26), and Ireland (20).
Sales and Marketing
TJX Companies has more than 17,000 vendors, and has been ramping up its advertising spend in recent years. The company spent $371.3 million on advertising in fiscal 2015 (ended January), up from $333.5 million and $298.6 million in fiscal years 2014 and 2013, respectively.
TJX Companies' revenues and profits have been rising over the past several years as tightened consumer budgets have increased demand for its off-price clothing and other products.
The company's net sales jumped 6% to $29.08 billion in fiscal 2015 (ended January), thanks to a 4% increase from new stores, and 2% increase from same store sales. Sales from jewelry and accessories, and activewear performed particularly well during the year. Most of the growth came from TJX's Marmaxx sales in the US (particularly in the Southeast and Southwest), which grew by 4%. Same-store US sales growth was mostly driven by higher average transaction values and higher customer traffic. While US Marmaxx sales dominated, TJX's US HomeGoods store sales grew the fastest (14%), followed by TJX Europe, which grew by 13% during the year.
Higher revenue in FY2015 boosted TJX's net income 4% to $2.22 billion, while its operating cash levels jumped 16% thanks mostly to favorable working capital changes related to an increase in accounts payable and an increase in income taxes payable.
TJX Companies' strategy for continued success, which it reiterated in 2015, is to: grow its store base at home and abroad; boost existing store sales by remodeling its stores and using "tri-branding" campaigns; and grow its E-Commerce business by expanding its product offerings. Ultimately, the company aims to operate more than 5,475 stores (representing 60% growth above its current store count), including 3,000 US-based TJ Maxx and Marshalls Stores (or 900 more than it had in early 2015, about 1,000 US HomeGoods stores (double its store count in 2015), around 500 Winners and Marshalls stores in Canada (35% more than its 2015 store base), and roughly 975 stores in Europe (more than double its 2015 store count), partially by expanding for the first time into Austria, and the Netherlands.
TJX Companies' focus on value across multiple chains appears to be just the right retail formula for lean times and beyond. The retailer targets middle- to upper-income, fashion-conscious females between the ages of 25 and 54 who tend to shop at high-end department and specialty stores, but have traded down as budgets tighten. As a result, TJX performed well throughout the recession and during the lackluster recovery.
The company’s overall opportunistic buying strategy is to acquire merchandise that enables it to offer a desirable and rapidly changing mix of branded, designer, and other quality merchandise in its stores at lower prices. Its buying organization includes more than 900 associates in 13 offices in ten countries.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In October 2015, TJX Companies purchased off-price retailer Trade Secret, which operated 35 stores in Australia, from Gazal Corporation for A$80 million ($58 million). The deal more than tripled TJX's store count in Australia, where it operated just 13 locations at the time.