NEW YORK — The TJX Cos., the nation’s largest off-price retailer, has agreed to purchase Bob’s Stores for $100 million.

TJX hopes that its relatively small acquisition goes a long way. “We believe Bob’s Stores provides us with a significant long-term growth vehicle for a relatively small initial investment,” Edmond J. English, president and chief executive of TJX, said in a statement Wednesday, when he announced the deal. “The anticipated addition of Bob’s Stores to our family of businesses represents our continued focus on growing our company successfully well into the future,” English added.

The 36-unit Bob’s Stores, based in Meriden, Conn., and its subsidiaries, have filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. TJX, which is based in Framingham, Mass., said it expects the transaction to close no later than the end of December of this year.

Under the agreement, TJX, which operates 742 T.J. Maxx and 658 Marshalls units, would purchase the assets of Bob’s Stores for $100 million, less various adjustments, and assume store leases and operating contracts to be designated by TJX. TJX expects to assume most of the leases.

The purchase price will be reduced for various adjustments, including reductions in inventory and the customer, employee and post-bankruptcy petition trade payables assumed by TJX. The transaction is subject to certain conditions, including bankruptcy court and regulatory approval. English said he expects only a minimal impact on earnings per share over the next few years.

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