The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX) is the leading off-price apparel and home fashions retailer in the United States and worldwide. Our over 2,600 stores offer a rapidly changing assortment of quality, brand-name and designer merchandise at prices generally 20% to 60% below department and specialty store regular prices every day.
Retail Concepts. We operate seven off-price retail concepts in the U.S., Canada and Europe and are known for our treasure hunt shopping experience and excellent values. The operating platforms and strategies of all of our retail concepts are synergistic. Therefore, we capitalize on our off-price expertise and systems throughout our business, leverage best practices, initiatives and new ideas across our concepts, utilize the substantial buying power of our businesses to leverage our global relationships with vendors, and develop talent by providing opportunities across our concepts.
In the United States:
— T.J. MAXX and MARSHALLS: T.J. Maxx and Marshalls are the largest off-price retailers in the United States with 1,680 stores. We founded T.J. Maxx in 1976 and acquired Marshalls in 1995. Both chains sell family apparel (including footwear and accessories), home fashions (including home basics, accent furniture, lamps, rugs, wall décor, decorative accessories and giftware) and other merchandise, primarily targeting the middle to upper-middle income customer demographic. We maintain the separate identities of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls through different product assortment (including an expanded assortment of fine jewelry and accessories at T.J. Maxx and a full line of footwear and broader men’s and juniors’ offerings at Marshalls), in-store initiatives, marketing and store appearance. The differentiated shopping experience at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls encourages our customers to shop both chains.
— HOMEGOODS: HomeGoods, introduced in 1992, is an off-price retailer of home fashions in the U.S. Through 318 stores, it sells a broad array of home basics, giftware, accent furniture, lamps, rugs, wall décor, decorative accessories, children’s furniture, seasonal merchandise and other fashions for the home.
— A.J. WRIGHT: Launched in 1998, A.J. Wright, like T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, sells off-price family apparel, home fashions and other merchandise. Catering to the entire family, key apparel categories for A.J. Wright’s 135 stores include basics, children’s, women’s plus sizes, juniors, young men’s and footwear. Different from all of our other chains, A.J. Wright primarily targets the moderate-income customer demographic.
— WINNERS: Acquired in 1990, Winners is the leading off-price apparel and home fashions retailer in Canada. The merchandise offering at its 202 stores across Canada is similar to T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. In 2008, Winners began testing StyleSense, a new concept that offers family footwear and accessories.
— HOMESENSE: HomeSense introduced the home fashions off-price concept to Canada in 2001. The chain has 75 stores offering a merchandise mix of home fashions similar to HomeGoods.
— T.K. MAXX: Launched in 1994, T.K. Maxx introduced off-price to the U.K. and is Europe’s only major off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions. With 235 stores, T.K. Maxx operates in the U.K. and Ireland and expanded to Germany in 2007. T.K. Maxx offers a merchandise mix similar to T.J. Maxx and Marshalls in the U.S. and Winners in Canada.
— HOMESENSE: HomeSense introduced the home fashions off-price concept to the U.K. in 2008 and its seven stores offer a merchandise mix of home fashions in the U.K. like that of HomeGoods in the U.S. and HomeSense in Canada.
Flexible Business Model: Our off-price business model is flexible, particularly for a company of our size, allowing us to react to market trends. Our opportunistic buying and inventory management strategies give us flexibility to adjust the merchandise in our stores more frequently than traditional retailers, and our stores and distribution centers are built to support this flexibility. By maintaining a liquid inventory position, our merchants can buy close to need, enabling them to buy into current market trends and take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace. Buying close to need gives us the ability to turn our inventory more rapidly and adjust our pricing to the current market more frequently than conventional retailers. Our selling floor space is flexible, without walls between departments and largely free of permanent fixtures, so we can easily expand and contract departments in response to customer demand, available merchandise and fashion trends. Our distribution facilities are designed to accommodate our methods of receiving and shipping both small and large quantities of product to our large store base quickly and efficiently.
Opportunistic Buying: We are distinguished from traditional retailers by our opportunistic buying of brand name, fashionable merchandise. We purchase the majority of the inventory for our apparel chains and a significant portion of the inventory for our home fashion chains opportunistically. Our merchant organization numbers over 600. In contrast to traditional retailers, which typically order goods far in advance of the time the product appears on the selling floor, our merchants are in the marketplace virtually every week, buying primarily for the current selling season, and to a limited extent, for a future selling season.
Due to the unpredictable nature of supply and consumer demand in the highly fragmented apparel and home fashions marketplace, we are able to buy the vast majority of our opportunistic inventory directly from manufacturers, with some coming from other retailers and sources. We source from a vendor universe of over 10,000 vendors a year and purchase virtually all of our inventory at discounts from initial wholesale prices. A small percentage of the merchandise we sell is private label merchandise produced specifically for us by third party manufacturers.
We believe a number of factors make us an attractive outlet for the vendor community and provide us excellent access on an ongoing basis to leading branded merchandise. We are willing to purchase less-than-full assortments of items, styles and sizes, pay promptly and do not ask for typical retail concessions (such as advertising, promotional and markdown allowances), delivery concessions (such as drop shipments to stores or delayed deliveries) or return privileges. We are able to purchase quantities of inventory that range from small to very large and we have the ability to sell product through a geographically diverse network of stores. Importantly, in TJX, we offer vendors an outlet with financial strength and an excellent credit rating.
Inventory Management: We offer our customers a rapidly changing selection of merchandise to create a “treasure hunt” experience in our stores. To achieve this, we seek to rapidly turn the inventory in our stores, regularly offering fresh selections of apparel and home fashions at excellent values. Our specialized inventory planning, purchasing, monitoring and markdown systems, coupled with distribution center storage, processing, handling and shipping systems, enable us to tailor the merchandise in our stores to local preferences, achieve rapid in-store inventory turnover on a vast array of products and sell substantially all merchandise within targeted selling periods. Pricing and markdown decisions and store inventory replenishment are determined centrally, using information provided by specialized computer systems, and are designed to move inventory through our stores in a timely and disciplined manner. We do not generally engage in promotional pricing activity.
Low Cost Operations: We operate with a low cost structure compared to many other traditional retailers. We focus aggressively on expenses throughout our business, including merchandise and non-merchandise procurement. Our advertising budget as a percentage of sales is low compared to traditional retailers. We design our stores, generally located in community shopping centers, to provide a pleasant, convenient shopping environment but do not spend heavily on store fixtures. Additionally, our distribution network is designed to run cost effectively.
Customer Service: While we offer a self-service format, we train our store associates to provide friendly and helpful customer service. We also have customer-friendly return policies. We accept a variety of payment methods including cash, credit cards and debit cards. In the U.S., we offer a co-branded TJX credit card and a private label credit card, both through a major bank, but do not maintain customer credit receivables related to either program.
Distribution: We operate 13 distribution centers in the U.S., 2 in Canada and 4 in the U.K. Our distribution centers encompass approximately 11 million square feet. We ship substantially all of our merchandise to our stores through these distribution centers, which are large, highly automated and built to suit our specific, off-price business model, as well as warehouses operated by third parties. We shipped approximately 1.5 billion units to our stores during fiscal 2009.
The retail apparel and home fashion business is highly competitive. We compete on the basis of fashion, quality, price, value, merchandise selection and freshness, brand name recognition, service, reputation and store location. We compete with local, regional, national and international department, specialty, off-price, discount, warehouse and outlet stores as well as other retailers that sell apparel, home fashions and other merchandise that we sell, whether in stores, through catalogues or media or over the internet.
At January 31, 2009, we had approximately 133,000 employees, many of whom work less than 40 hours per week. In addition, we hire temporary employees during the peak back-to-school and holiday seasons.
We have the right to use our principal trademarks and service marks, which are T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Winners, HomeSense, T.K. Maxx and A.J. Wright, in relevant countries. Our rights in these trademarks and service marks endure for as long as they are used.
Our business is subject to seasonal influences. In the second half of the year, which includes the back-to-school and holiday seasons, we generally realize higher levels of sales and income.
Sale of Bob’s Stores
In fiscal 2009, we sold Bob’s Stores, a value-oriented, branded apparel chain we acquired in fiscal 2004. The loss on the sale and historical results of operations have been accounted for as discontinued operations.