Rifling through the racks is an art at TJX stores. The TJX Companies operates more than 3,600 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 2,160-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 more than 1,000 stores. Its HomeGoods chain of 520-plus US stores focuses exclusively on home furnishings. T.K. Maxx is the company's European retail arm with 450-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 generated 64% of TJX Companies' total sales during fiscal 2016 (ended January). 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 13% of its total sales from its more than 520 US HomeGoods stores, which sell home fashions in 47 states and Puerto Rico.
TJX Canada (9% of sales) operates more than 40 Marshalls stores, about 245 Winners discount apparel and home fashions stores, and 100-plus HomeSense stores in Canada that offer merchandise similar to that of the HomeGoods chain in the US. TJX International (which mostly includes Europe, particularly around the UK), TJX operates nearly 40 HomeSense shops and over 450 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 77% of its sales in the US during FY2016, with stores in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The remainder of sales came from Canada (13% of sales), where the retailer has stores in all 10 provinces, and other countries (mostly in Europe). The UK is the company's largest market in Europe with over 300 stores, followed by Germany (93 stores), Poland (30), and Ireland (24).
Sales and Marketing
TJX Companies has more than 18,000 vendors, and has been ramping up its advertising spend in recent years. The company spent $382.9 million on advertising in fiscal 2016 (ended January), up from $371.3 million and $333.5 million in fiscal years 2015 and 2014, respectively.
TJX Companies' revenues and profits have been rising over the past several years thanks to aggressive store expansion and as tightened consumer budgets have increased demand for its off-price clothing and other products.
The retailer's net sales climbed 6% to $30.9 billion in fiscal 2016 (ended January), thanks to a 4% sales increase from new stores, and a 5% increase from same store sales driven by more customer traffic during the year. Home fashion sales outperformed apparel sales, though both recorded increases during the year. About two-thirds of the sales growth came from TJX's Marmaxx sales in the US, which grew by 7%. Same-store US sales growth was mostly driven by higher sales volumes and higher customer traffic. While US Marmaxx sales dominated, TJX's US HomeGoods store sales continued to grow the fastest (15%), followed by TJX International, which grew by 3% during the year.
Revenue growth in FY2016 boosted TJX's net income 3% to $2.28 billion. The retailer's operating cash levels dipped 2% to $2.94 billion for the year as it used more cash toward building its merchandise inventories.
TJX Companies' strategy for continued success, which it reiterated in 2016, 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. For fiscal 2017, it plans to grow to 3,809 stores (up from 3,606 at the end of FY2016), with intentions to open 50 TJX International stores, 30 TJX Canada stores, 50 HomeGoods stores, and 60 Marmaxx stores by the end of the fiscal year.
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 1,000 associates in 15 offices in 11 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.