TJX Cos. rev­enue goes flat

Woonsocket Call - - Region | Obituaries -

FRAM­ING­HAM, Mass. (AP) — Even the par­ent com­pany of T.J. Maxx and Mar­shalls is feel­ing some re­tail pain.

TJX Cos., which also op­er­ates HomeGoods stores, said Tues­day that rev­enue at es­tab­lished stores was flat in the third quar­ter com­pared to a year ago — the first time it didn't post an in­crease since 2009.

An­a­lysts were ex­pect­ing a gain, and the com­pany's shares fell 4 per­cent. CEO and Pres­i­dent Ernie L. Her­rman blamed the slug­gish per­for­mance on the se­vere hur­ri­canes that struck Florida and Texas, as well as some fash­ion misses.

The com­pany, known for its dis­counts on name-brand mer­chan­dise, has been a bright spot in re­tail since the Great Re­ces­sion and has at­tracted shop­pers away from mall-based stores as it ex­pands and of­fers more upto-date prod­ucts. It now has about 4,000 stores with an­nual sales of $33.1 bil­lion, com­pared to just un­der 2,800 stores with $21.9 bil­lion in sales six years ago.

Be­cause the off-price con­cept has been more suc­cess­ful, tra­di­tional depart­ment stores like Macy's are test­ing the idea as they look to bol­ster sales, but they're also cut­ting their num­ber of stores as they see cus­tomer counts fall.

TJX is look­ing for new growth op­por­tu­ni­ties, adding stores and open­ing a new chain called HomeSense. So far, it has three HomeSense stores in the U.S. Her­rman says the ini­tial cus­tomer re­ac­tion has been "out­stand­ing."

The Fram­ing­ham, Mas­sachusetts-based com­pany re­ported fis­cal thirdquar­ter profit of $641.4 mil­lion, or $1 per share. That com­pares with $549.7 mil­lion, or 83 cents per share, in the year-ago pe­riod. The re­sults matched Wall Street ex­pec­ta­tions.

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