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HomeGoods a Star at Fast-Growth TJX

Home furnishings were a factor in the strong gains at The TJX Companies, Inc., which reported third-quarter net sales of $4.5 billion, up 11% over the same period one year ago.

Sales increased 8% at the big Marmaxx division, which includes apparel-heavy T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. Meanwhile the HomeGoods chain saw net sales rise 15% to $336 million from $292 million for the same period one year ago.

Ben Cammarata, chairman and acting ceo of TJX, said the HomeGoods division "more than doubled segment profit from last year's third quarter," with profits soaring to $17.6 million, up 155% from $6.9 million for last year.

Cammarata said a mix with "more brands and more unique products" was driving traffic in the soft home and home decor categories at HomeGoods, and lauded his merchants for more risk-taking in their off-price buying. He also said 70 of the 270 stores now have HG Kids departments, where the retailer creates "an exciting shopping destination for kids' furniture and accessories."

TJX cfo and chief administrative officer Jeffrey Naylor projected comp-store gains of 3% to 4% each month during the fourth quarter for the 2,500-store retailer, while Cammarata indicated that the store expansion schedule for HomeGoods is being accelerated.

On a related growth note, TJX plans to enter Germany soon with a version of T.K. Maxx, its successful British transplant.

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