FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — The TJX Cos. Inc. told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting Tuesday that it plans to expand its reach and keep a lid on expenses.
The nation’s largest off-price retailer is coming off a first quarter of record profits, with its stock up more than 40 percent this year and customer traffic gains across all divisions.
“For me, it’s still about one thing: execution,” said Carol Meyrowitz, president and chief executive officer, at company headquarters here. “I use that word all the time.”
In the short term, the $19 billion company will continue to pare expenses, shaving about $150 million in operating costs, running with lean inventories and reducing capital expenditures by 23 percent, to $450 million. But it will use its healthy balance sheet, which includes $1 billion of cash on hand, to grow its footprint, opening 15 to 20 more stores than initially projected, for a total of 75 to 85 new doors this year. It will also launch its first national network-television ad campaign, dual-branded for both components of its Marmaxx unit, TJ Maxx and Marshalls.
In the long term, Meyrowitz envisions taking the off-price model global. She’s buoyed by the retailer’s success in Germany, a highly regulated and tough retail market from which Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pulled out after years of losses. The European opportunity for the retailer is “vast,” she said.
In her letter to shareholders, Meyrowitz predicted the German market alone could support 300 stores.
The company’s more moderate off-price concept, A.J. Wright, is another bright spot. The family apparel concept, led by former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. executive Celia Clancy, turned in its first profitable year since 2003, posting a $2.9 million operating profit. Comparable-store sales for the division rose 12 percent in the first quarter, as A.J. Wright reversed a $885,000 year-ago loss to post $4.4 million in operating income.
At its 1,680-store Marmaxx division, TJX continues to roll out shop-in-shop boutiques featuring a changing mix of high-profile brands. The Cube, a 1,000-square-foot junior concept in Marshalls, launched in 280 stores last year after successful tests. TJ Maxx operates The Runway, featuring contemporary and designer goods in a smaller number of stores. The company also has been able to widen its vendor base — an upside, presumably, of being cash-rich in a down economy. Without naming names, Meyrowitz said the company inked deals with “hundreds” of new vendors in the first quarter alone.
The only mention of the company’s 2006 data breach, in which thousands of customer names and credit card numbers were stolen by hackers, came in an annual report note listing $171 million in costs associated with the scam. However, it was evident Tuesday that TJX has ratcheted up all aspects of security, photographing visitors upon arrival and having security guards confiscate briefcases and laptops before entry to the shareholders’ meeting.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty