Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

TJX Companies Is Latest Retailer to Tighten Belt on Coronavirus Concerns

By James Brumley - Updated Mar 19, 2020 at 3:04PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Store closings, e-commerce shutdown, and cash conservation are part of the company's COVID-19 response.

TJX Companies (TJX 2.23%), parent company to off-price retailers T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and others, has joined a lengthening list of store chains struggling with weak consumerism in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The organization announced Thursday it would be closing all stores in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia for two weeks as part of an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

The decision was hardly surprising, given that other retailers have already taken similar measures. Ross Stores (ROST 1.59%) announced early Thursday it would withdraw its first-quarter and full-year 2020 sales guidance due to uncertainty surrounding the length of consumers' self-quarantining efforts. Burlington Stores (BURL 1.30%) is also closing some stores, as well as shuttering its corporate offices, per a press release posted early Thursday. TJX is taking the idea further, however, electing to shut down its e-commerce operation, distribution centers, and management offices. Office employees able to do so will work from home, when possible.

Man tightening his belt

Image Source: Getty Images.

TJX Companies added that certain fiscal measures could be considered as the fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak becomes clearer. The company noted possible plans to reduce capital expenditures, review operating expenses, and reconsider its dividend payout. The off-price retailer has tapped into $1 billion worth of liquidity from an existing credit facility, and has suspended its stock repurchase activity.

Of the three key publicly traded off-price retailers providing coronavirus updates today, TJX Companies shares were the only ones to fall, by a little more than 4% as of mid-day.

Undoubtedly, COVID-19 worries have already crimped shopping. In February, even before the United States needed to take sweeping action to contain the disease, retail sales fell 0.5%.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

The TJX Companies, Inc. Stock Quote
The TJX Companies, Inc.
$59.27 (2.23%) $1.29
Ross Stores, Inc. Stock Quote
Ross Stores, Inc.
$75.17 (1.59%) $1.18
Burlington Stores, Inc. Stock Quote
Burlington Stores, Inc.
$149.20 (1.30%) $1.91

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 07/07/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.