Off-Price Retail Is Fully Priced

Despite their gravity-defying sales track record, the holidays were a reminder of just how much off-price retailers’ fates are tied to physical stores. Both TJX Cos. and Ross Stores ’ sales during the holiday season were lower than analyst expectations, down 10% and 4%, respectively, in the quarter ended Jan. 30 compared with a year earlier. For TJX in particular, its international footprint was a burden: At certain times in the quarter, the retailer had to temporarily close all stores in Europe and the majority of Canadian stores, leading to substantial sales declines. Ross Stores, which only operates in the U.S., said on a Tuesday earnings call that California, its largest market, underperformed because of shelter-in-place restrictions. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.