T.J.Maxx, and Marshalls in New York City in 2020.

Ernie Herrman, chief executive officer and president of off-price giant The TJX Cos. Inc., drew a compensation package valued at $14.5 million in 2020, a 23.8 percent cut from a year earlier, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Most of Herrman’s compensation came in $7.9 million in stock awards — the value of which might never be realized as it depends on the company’s share performance and vesting schedules. 

More immediately, Herrman received a salary of $1.5 million, incentive pay of $3 million, a change in the value of his pension of $1.9 million and other compensation of $265,492, including an automobile benefit of $35,904. 

Carol Meyrowitz, former CEO and current executive chairman, saw her compensation package decrease by 23.9 percent to $8 million. 

While Herrman and Meyrowitz are among the highest-paid people in retail and fashion — and they oversee one of the industry’s largest retailers with a market capitalization of more than $85 billion — they are not at the top of the list. Of the retailers that have released executive compensation information in their annual proxy statements this year, Walmart Inc.’s CEO Doug McMillon leads the list with a compensation package valued at $22.6 million, including $15.8 million in stock awards. 

Off-pricers such as TJX’s T.J. Maxx and Marshalls were among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 shutdowns last year, since they are still largely brick-and-mortar businesses relying on foot traffic and an in-store treasure hunt experience. 

TJX’s stores were closed for approximately 24 percent of the year and sales, in turn, fell 23 percent to $32.1 billion. The company paid its employees for at least three weeks following the initial shutdowns, but then furloughed the majority of its hourly workforce. 

Now that the world is starting to open back up more fully, off-pricers are expected to be one of the best performers in retail again. Debt watchdog Moody’s Investors Service projected that the sector would see operating profits jump 350 percent this year. 

 

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