Off-price retailer TJX
The deal provides an opportunity to take a closer look at TJX's plans for growth. The company invests several hundred million dollars in new properties each year, so this deal shouldn't really surprise anyone -- though it may surprise folks only familiar with its flagship T.J. Maxx and Marshall's chains that Bob's will represent its eighth store line.
TJX also operates Canadian off-price retailer Winners, value-priced home fashions chains HomeSense (in Canada) and HomeGoods (in the U.S), European T.J. Maxx knockoff T.K. Maxx, and A.J. Wright -- similar to T.J. Maxx but targeting a lower economic demographic. (The company has also experimented, combining HomeGoods stores with both T.J. Maxx and Marshall's to create off-price "superstores".)
The reasons behind TJX's broad approach to expansion can be seen in the company's financial results for the fiscal second quarter (ended July 26). To summarize:
Segment Sales Same-Store Sales --------------------------------------Marmaxx(1) +4% +0% Canada(2) +33% +16% HomeGoods +23% +4% T.K. Maxx +33% 14%(3) A.J. Wright +61% 11%
Notes: 1) Combines T.J. Maxx and Marshall's. (2) Combines HomeSense and Winners. (3) Excludes currency effects, without which the gain was 4%.
Year over year, profits rose for every segment except Marmaxx (as it's called in the company's 10-K) -- the same as in Q1, with the exception of the Canadian businesses.
TJX's news release instructs investors to think of Bob's as a "start-up" and to trust management's experience developing retail concepts. Next to the size of Marmaxx, however, the company's remaining chains are small by comparison. Yesterday's news is a strong indication that they will be counted on not to remain so for long.
Dave Marino-Nachison can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.