TJX plans aggressive expansion as shoppers continue to seek out bargains
Framingham, Mass. TJX Cos. unveiled ambitious plans to expand Wednesday, saying the company could ultimately double in size.
The announcement came after chain, owner of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, reported a 58% rise in profit and 10% rise in sales for its fourth quarter.
“We believe there has been a paradigm shift among customers to value,” president and CEO Carol Meyrowitz told investors during a conference call on Wednesday. “We expect the economic recovery will be muted. And our history shows that after a recession, our new customers stick with us. Regardless of whether the economy is weak or strong, value isn’t going out of style.”
TJX currently has about 2,700 stores. It hopes to expand that number to 4,200, Meyrowitz said, but the company didn’t give a time frame.
Company executives also said the company plans to announce a smaller concept store to open in spring of 2011. No additional information was given, other than the new format could grow to have 100 locations.
TJX opened 91 new stores in 2009, and plans to increase that figure to 130 this year. Most of those stores will bear the T.J. Maxx or Marshalls names or be part of the company’s European operations.
“TJX has plenty of room to grow,” Meyrowitz said.
Zale returns to profit in Q2
DALLAS Zale Corp. announced that for the second fiscal quarter ended Jan. 31, it had net earnings of $6.7 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $31.8 million, or $1.00 per share, in the comparable period in fiscal 2009.
Same-store sales during the second fiscal quarter decreased 11.2%, compared with a decrease of 18.1% during the 2009 period.
“We have made progress year over year in gross margin, expenses, earnings per share and inventory levels,” commented Theo Killion, president and interim CEO. “Our direct competitors have demonstrated that the market for mid-tier jewelers has stabilized. It is critical that we focus on retail fundamentals and the core diamond business while we leverage our brand equity, capabilities and personnel to improve top line volumes,” added Killion.
Fresh & Easy opens in South L.A.
SOUTH LOS ANGELES, Calif. Fresh & Easy has opened its first store in South Los Angeles on the corner of Central & Adams at 1025 E. Adams Blvd. According to the company, the store was one of the first sites identified by the grocer over two years ago and is the centerpiece of an impressive new mixed-use development with affordable housing units and additional retail space.
Mary Kasper, VP and general counsel for Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, said, “We’re opening stores in all types of neighborhoods because we fundamentally believe everyone regardless of where they live deserves access to quality, fresh food at affordable prices. We’re also proud to bring more quality jobs to the neighborhood, particularly in this economy.”