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TJX's HomeGoods chain 'firing on all cylinders'

Framingham, MA — In reporting TJX Cos.' third quarter results this morning, president and ceo Edmond English pointed to the HomeGoods business as particularly strong.

The 139-unit chain posted an 8 percent comp store increase, and operating income reached $12 million — "significantly outpacing our objectives and almost eight times what it achieved last year," English said. "This division is firing on all cylinders, and we are excited about the momentum that HomeGoods is building."

Overall, the companies' sales in the third quarter ended Oct. 26 climbed 11 percent to $3 billion, with consolidated comps up 2 percent. Net income was $147 million, with diluted EPS of $0.28 after a previously announced $10 million after-tax charge for claims related to four California lawsuits. Without the charge, EPS increased 11 percent to $0.27.

The company will capitalize on last-minute Christmas shopping this year by "flowing more merchandise later in all divisions," said English during this morning's third quarter conference call.

Bringing new merchandise into the stores later in December, like the 15th or 20th, for example, "really gave us some great last-minute business last year" at the MarMaxx group, which includes T.J. Maxx and Marshall's, he added. This year, all the divisions will be more aggressive with this initiative, English said.

The company will "throw a little extra weight" into the week before Christmas, adding an additional week of marketing, he said, in addition to its normal plan, which includes television.

Carol Meyrowitz, president, MarMaxx Group, said that her division will keep trying to improve its flow for the season. Building on its gift-giving concept, it will add another period to tie in closer to Christmas to put in fresh "table and very special goods," which will allow it to bring in more and fresher goods in the month of December than a year ago.

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