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T.J. Maxx returns to e-commerce

BY Dan Berthiaume

Framingham, Mass. – T.J. Maxx has quietly relaunched its e-commerce site, eight years after initially attempting to sell products online, without any promotion or official announcement. A Boston Globe article indicates the site went live on Sept. 18.

Parent company The TJX Cos. purchased online retailer Sierra Trading Post in 2012 in part to obtain expertise and technology for a T.J. Maxx e-commerce initiative. The TJX Cos. previously indicated the T.J. Maxx e-commerce site would open this fall but gave no specific launch date. The retailer declined to comment in the article.

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Study: Millennial men are most proactive shoppers

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Men are highly engaged shoppers, with 63% of men actively looking for in-store sales and 53% regularly using coupons, according to WSL’s “How America Shops: Men & Shopping Report.” The study also shows that 67% of Millennial men use mobile phones to shop, compared to 52% of Gen X men and 29% of Baby Boomer men.

“There are a number of assumptions associated with the way men shop, and the reality is that many of them are just not true,” said Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL. “Men are consistently more optimistic about their finances than women, which makes them more inclined to spend than their female counterparts, even in a shaky economy. What’s different about today’s man is that he is more engaged and shopping smarter than retailers may be giving him credit for.“

Other findings from the study include:

  • More men than women will look for help from a sales associate in just about every category, including: home products (25% of men compared to 18% women); baby products – (25% of men compared to 12% women); and beauty products – (14% of men compared to 9% of women).
  • Despite the belief that men won’t bother with rewards programs, 79% belong to a frequent shopper program, almost as many as women (89%), and 73% of the men surveyed say they receive email alerts for shopping compared to of women.
  • Sixty-eight percent of men feel they are better informed after reading online product reviews and 58% say they are ready to make a purchase after reading reviews, almost the same percentage as women.

The study was conducted as a nationwide online survey of 740 men and 780 women shoppers ages 18 and older in July 2013.

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Pier 1 misses Q2 income expectations

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fort Worth, Texas – Pier 1 Imports, Inc. substantially missed expectations with a 32% decline in net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to the same period last year. Net income totaled $17.8 million in the most recent fiscal quarter, down from $26.2 million.

Total sales were $395.6 million, a 7.6% increase from $367.6 million a year earlier. Comparable store sales increased 3.5% during the second quarter.

Alex W. Smith, president and CEO of Pier 1, cited misguided marketing and store assortments as drivers of the retailer’s poor earnings performance.

“During the second quarter, the efforts focused around our short- and long-term goals fell slightly out of balance,” Smith said. “In particular, our marketing initiatives did not include appropriate messaging around clearance and promotional activity in our stores, or customer acquisition generally, which contributed to lower than expected store traffic. We should also have done a better job of flowing new product to the stores and reflecting those items in the floor set.”

Looking ahead, Pier 1 expects full-year revenue growth of a high-single-digit rate and also plans to return to advertising on network TV during the upcoming holiday season.

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