TJ Maxx
by Stephen Garner

TJ MaxxDiscount retailer TJX Companies, which operates TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods stores, didn’t increase its same-store sales for the first time since 2009, a sign that off-price chains aren’t immune to the changes in retail after all.

TJX blamed hurricanes and warmer-than-expected weather for the same-store sales decline in its biggest unit and flat growth overall in its third quarter.

Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2018 increased 6 percent to $8.8 billion and consolidated comparable store sales were flat compared to last year’s 5 percent increase. For the year-to-date, net sales were $24.9 billion, a 5 percent increase over last year’s 8 percent increase. Consolidated comparable store sales increased 1% over last year’s 5 percent increase.

“For the third quarter, consolidated comparable store sales were flat versus last year’s strong 5 percent increase,” said Ernie Herrman, chief executive officer and president of The TJX Companies. “Certainly, the hurricanes had a negative impact during the quarter. Our greatest concern is the well-being of our associates, their families, our customers and everyone affected by these natural disasters, and our hearts go out to the people who have been impacted. Additionally, we believe that warmer temperatures in the U.S. during the quarter dampened demand for apparel at our Marmaxx division.”

Herrman goes on to say that customer traffic was strong, despite these setbacks, in every major division in the company.

“Looking ahead, the fourth quarter is off to a strong start and we see numerous opportunities for the holiday selling season across our retail banners,” added Herrman. “We have excellent inventory liquidity to capitalize on the plentiful opportunities we are seeing for quality, branded merchandise in the marketplace. We will be offering consumers eclectic gift selections from around the world, at compelling, off-price values, and shipping fresh assortments to our stores and online throughout December and beyond. We have many initiatives underway to drive sales and traffic and are excited about our marketing campaigns. We are confident that we will achieve our goals for 2017 and as always, we will strive to surpass them. We have enormous confidence in the continued, successful growth of TJX!”