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Carol Meyrowitz Touts TJX Growth Opportunities

The off-pricer reported solid third-quarter earnings, including a 7 percent comp sales gain.

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Carol Meyrowitz sees plenty of growth ahead for The TJX Cos. Inc., which is already the dominant off-pricer.

Meyrowitz, who is chief executive officer, touted the retailer’s international experience and hinted the company would get into e-commerce in the near future.

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“We have huge opportunities to attract more U.S. and international customers with our values,” Meyrowitz said during a conference call detailing solid third-quarter earnings. “Over the last three years, our customer traffic is up [by a percentage in the] midteens, and it continued to be up in the third quarter.”

TJX has 2,355 stores in the U.S., as well as 367 doors in Europe and another 324 in Canada.

Meyrowitz noted the company could add up to another 508 stores in its current European markets. “The opportunity for future growth of Europe is vastly underrated by others,” she said. “Executed well, the off-price concept can work in almost any country where brands and value matter. We believe that we’re the only off-price retailer with the international experience to say that.”

The company is also looking at the opportunities in the e-commerce arena and expects to have an update when it reconvenes with analysts to go over year-end results.

TJX’s third-quarter net income increased 13.5 percent to $461.6 million, or 62 cents a diluted share, from $406.5 million, or 53 cents, a year earlier. Earnings came in 1 cent ahead of the 61 cents analysts projected and shares of the company gained 2.7 percent to $42.06 Tuesday.

Sales for the three months ended Oct. 27 advanced 10.7 percent to $6.41 billion from $5.79 billion with a 7 percent rise in comparable-store sales.

TJX, which operates the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls chains in the U.S., said fourth-quarter earnings per share would range from 72 cents to 75 cents — that would be a gain from 62 cents in earnings a year earlier, but below the 76 cents Wall Street had penciled in.

Comp sales are slated to range from flat to up 2 percent for the quarter. TJX’s comps rose 2 percent in the year-ago quarter and were up 12 percent in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.