TJX Cos. is boosting its U.S. expansion plans after seeing increased traffic and spending at its stores in 2011. More Americans are shopping for discounted goods, and the retailer wants to make sure it is near the action, said CEO Carol Meyrowitz on a conference call with investors this week. “Basically 75 percent of adults in the U.S. have not shopped with us,” she said, “which really gives us a lot of opportunities for growth.” In the next 12 months alone, TJX plans to grow its square footage by about 5 percent, netting a total of 130 to 145 new stores and putting the company on the path to its ultimate goal of doubling its current store network to 4,500 stores throughout the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Germany.
The retailer’s Marmaxx division, which includes its Marshalls and T.J. Maxx chains, posted a 4 percent increase in same-store sales during the third quarter. “Marmaxx will be even bigger than we thought a year ago, and we have increased the store growth potential to approximately 2,400 stores,” Meyrowitz said. “We have significantly widened the demographic reach of Marmaxx in all directions, and are capitalizing on real estate vacancies in urban markets and filling in smaller markets where we operate very profitable stores.” Marmaxx currently operates 1,753 stores averaging 30,000 square feet.
The company’s HomeGoods stores also performed well in the third quarter, posting a 5 percent same-store sales increase. “We have raised HomeGoods’ long-term store potential from 600 stores to about 750 stores,” Meyrowitz said. “In addition, the fact that other U.S. home retail chains operate more than twice the number of stores as HomeGoods does gives us even greater confidence. Further, there are over 100 markets where we operate the T.J. Maxx or a Marshalls store but don’t yet have a HomeGoods store.” HomeGoods currently operates 750 stores averaging 27,000 square feet.