Not unlike the off-price deals on name-brand merchandise found on their shelves, TJX's (NYSE: TJX) T.J. Maxx stores are operating in a real sweet spot these days. In spite of a tough economy marked by stingy consumers, the retailer in December delivered 3% same-store sales growth along with 4% growth over the past year.

Following news of slow sales at style-conscious stores such as American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO), discreetly reported layoffs at high-end retailer Coldwater Creek (Nasdaq: CWTR), and continued weakness at Chico's (NYSE: CHS), T.J. Maxx remains one of the few bright spots in retailing.

While the retailer's press release credited disciplined cost controls and inventory management, I don't discount the fact that pinched shoppers (who still need new clothes) simply want to get more bang for their buck. Positioning itself as a "name brand" for off-price merchandise, T.J. Maxx somehow avoids the stigma that is often attached to discounters.

Total sales for December were up 6%. The sluggish sales growth at other retailers means plenty of inventory is sitting out there for resellers like TJX to take off their hands.

Now, investors stand to hit the sweet spot on TJX shares. For at least the second time this year, the company raised earnings guidance. This time, fourth-quarter earnings per share are expected to register in the $0.60-$0.63 range. That will bring earnings for the year up to $1.89-$1.92 per share.

Hence, at today's level, you're paying 15 times forward earnings for a proven business model growing 13% annually, paying a healthy 1.3% dividend yield, and steadily repurchasing shares. Why, that sounds like the kind of deal you'd find stocked on T.J. Maxx's shelves.

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