TJX-owned Marshalls is launching an eCommerce business later this year.
According to Bloomberg, the retailer’s current website showcases a store locator, gift cards and some photos and other features – but no merchandise for sale.
While most retailers have seen sales suffer due to the rise of Amazon, TJX’s chains Marshalls and T.J. Maxx have stayed popular with shoppers who enjoy the experience of “hunting” for a good bargain. The company noted that customer traffic “at every division” for fourth-quarter sales beat expectations, while comparable sales increased 6 percent at TJX in the period, beating analysts’ average estimate of 3.5 percent.
The company’s other retailer, T.J. Maxx, already has a website, which is a small but growing part of the business, TJX Chief Financial Officer Scott Goldenberg said on the company’s earnings call on Wednesday (Feb. 27). In fact, while T.J. Maxx has brought in $36 billion in yearly sales, analysts believe that only roughly 2 percent of TJX’s sales are made via eCommerce channels.
Discount retailers like TJX operate differently than others in the market; they purchase leftover inventory from retailers that have canceled orders or brands that have a surplus of a particular product. That means TJX can respond much faster to consumer trends.
In a November conference call with analysts, TJX President and Chief Executive Officer Ernie Herrman said, “We are nimble in the marketplace and can buy close to need to capture additional sales when consumer trends are strong. Our flexible supply chain and store format enable us to change up our floor space to expand hot categories and hot brands so we can deliver shoppers more relevant, on-trend merchandise.”
And Herrman said Marshalls would use T.J. Maxx’s online experience as a blueprint for its own site, with the company looking to boost brick-and-mortar traffic through in-store returns for online orders.