TJX makes move to maximize Web sales [Boston Herald]
(Boston Herald (MA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 27--Details are expected today about the TJX Cos.'s plans to translate its off-price retailing to online sales.
The Framingham owner of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods has taken a slow approach to its second try at e-commerce, but its $200 million purchase of off-price e-tailer Sierra Trading Post in December gave it immediate infrastructure and expertise.
Stifel Nicolaus analyst Richard Jaffe expects TJX to leverage its most successful brand, T.J. Maxx, for online sales, but incorporate products from all three of its U.S. chains on the site.
"I think they can be very successful online," he said. "We've seen the tremendous consumer appeal of off-price apparel sold on the Internet if you look at the sales of Gilt, Rue La La, ideeli and HauteLook."
TJX, which has annual revenue of $25 billion, 2,300-plus U.S. stores and has outperformed peers, views e-commerce as strictly an offensive move, but CEO Carol Meyrowitz considers it a "major growth catalyst."
"They certainly are late to the game," Kantar Retail analyst Leon Nicholas said. "A lot of growth in the apparel business has moved online. But they still have the opportunity to make a real impact. The key for them is going to be to try to recreate the treasure hunt experience they have in the stores."
TJX, which declined comment, shut down T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods e-commerce sites in 2005 after little more than a year, citing disappointing sales due to an inability to provide its entire merchandise assortment online. It runs a small e-commerce business in Europe under its T.K. Maxx chain.
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