The recession is funneling both customers and profits to The TJX Cos., which boosted its bottom line by 7.9 percent in the first quarter and is seeking to solidify its position in the off-price category.
Quarterly earnings for the Framingham, Mass.-based parent of TJ Maxx and Marshalls rose to $209.2 million, or 49 cents a diluted share, from $193.8 million, or 43 cents, and were in line with analyst estimates. Sales for the three months ended May 2 inched up 1.2 percent to $4.35 billion from $4.3 billion and grew 2 percent on a same-store basis.
Combined operating profits from TJ Maxx and Marshalls increased 18.7 percent to $330.7 million on a 4.9 percent rise in sales to $2.94 billion. Comparable-store sales at Marmaxx were up 1 percent in the quarter.
The more moderate A.J. Wright division posted operating earnings of $4.4 million, reversing year-ago losses of $885,000, as sales rose 16.3 percent, to $179.4 million, and same-store sales jumped 12 percent.
“Customer traffic increased significantly across virtually all of our divisions, as customers responded to our extreme values on ever-fresh assortments,” said Carol Meyrowitz, president and chief executive officer. “We are taking advantage of this environment to attract new customers, open new vendor doors and take advantage of real estate opportunities.”
For the second quarter, TJX expects earnings of 43 cents to 49 cents a share, compared with profits of 48 cents from continuing operations in the same quarter a year earlier.
Investors traded the stock up $1.09, or 3.9 percent, to $29.03.
“TJX is doing a good job of driving merchandise margin improvement through its focus on making purchases opportunistically and closer to need,” said Standard & Poor’s equity analyst Jason Asaeda, who upgraded the stock to “buy” from “hold.”
But Jefferies & Co. analyst Randal Konik kept his “hold” rating on the stock and said profit margin expansion could slow as more prudent inventory practices are utilized. He also said the company could be running out of places to cut costs.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)