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TJX touts home sales

Framingham, MA — Continuing to emphasize the importance of tight inventories chainwide, The TJX Companies' president and ceo Edmond English also attributed "strong momentum in the home area" to the company's second quarter performance.

During the company's quarterly conference call yesterday, English linked the robust performance of home at its linchpin Marmaxx division with that of its burgeoning HomeGoods chain, which posted a 41 percent sales increase for the quarter. He noted that many of the buyers from Marmaxx have tapped into the expertise of HomeGoods executives to exploit available opportunities in the home segment.

English called particular attention to the 132-store HomeGoods chain, which currently has an operating margin of about 3 percent, saying the chain can achieve the company's goal of an 8 percent to 9 percent operating margin within about four years.

He was particularly impressed by the performance of rugs at HomeGoods, in addition to lamps and wall art.

As far as second half prospects for the $12 billion retail corporation, English remains optimistic, citing "upside possibility across all divisions" with full-year earnings per share expected to be in the range of $1.12 to $1.17, a 15 percent to 20 percent increase over last year. As two primary reasons for the positive outlook, he noted the company is not dependent on the economy for sales and mentioned new-store performance throughout the chain.

Other notable developments for the company include the possibility of expanding its T.K. Maxx format outside of Europe within a couple of years, and its A.J. Wright division is expected to break even next year.

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