Framingham, Mass. – Baskets were bigger, mark-ups were higher and mark-downs were fewer – a formula that generated strong results for TJX Cos. in the fourth quarter and fiscal year.
Home continues to be a destination department for the company. Home comps at Marmaxx stores in the U.S. topped 20% in Q4, on a par with the performance of home specialty unit HomeGoods. At TJX Canada and in the company’s European and Australian operations, home sales out-performed apparel across the year.
TJX Cos. saw consistent strength across all major categories for both U.S. HomeGoods and Home Sense stores last year, with healthy increases in basket and average traffic.
“We are convinced that we captured additional share of the home market in 2021 as our eclectic mix of merchandise and great values continue to resonate with consumers,” said Ernie Herrman, CEO and president of The TJX Companies Inc.
Other key take-aways from this morning’s quarterly call with analysts:
Pricing: TJX Cox. Is in the early stages of a multi-year initiative to raise retail prices as it works to rebuild historical margin rates. “Importantly, our customers tell us that our value proposition in the marketplace remains very strong, and shoppers continue to see amazing values every time they visit,” said Herrman.
Promotional activity: Because all retailers are constrained by higher freight and wage costs, TJX isn’t expecting a swift return to promotional activity by competitors – and Herrman said that so far merchants aren’t seeing any.
Sourcing: The company opened thousands of new vendors last year and is particularly interested in signing brands that are getting squeezed out of other retailers by store closures. “Oh my gosh, the availability,” said Herrman. “Over the past few weeks, we’re seeing a ramp up in availability across good, better and best.”
Store expansion: This year, TJX Cos. plans to open 50 Marmaxx stores, 30 HomeGoods units, 20 Sierra Trading locations and 10 Home Sense stores in the U.S. It also plans 20 new stores for TJX Canada.
Sustainability: The company is preparing to institute more aggressive sustainability goals, which will be announced in the spring.
Divisional results for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 29 include:
HomeGoods: Open-only comparable store sales climbed 22% and total comp was up 5% compared to the prior year Q4. Net sales of $2.5 billion were up 13% year-over-year and up 29% compared to two years ago.
Marmaxx U.S.: Open-only comparable store sales increased 10% and total comp was up 6% compared to the prior year Q4. Net sales of $8.3 billion were up 20% year-over-year and up 12% compared to two years ago.
TJX Canada: Open-only comparable store sales increased 1% and total comp was up 4% compared to the prior year Q4. Net sales of $1.255 billion were up 50% year-over-year and up 11% compared to two years ago.
Consolidated TJX Cos. net sales, which include results from TJX retail operations in Europe and Australia, rang in at $13.85 billion, up 27% year-over-year and up 14% compared to two years ago. Net income of $940 million was nearly triple last year’s profit but down nearly 5% compared to two years ago.
For the full fiscal year, consolidated net sales were $48.5 billion, up 51% from the previous fiscal year and up 16% compared to the fiscal year ended in January 2020. Net income rose to $3.28 billion from net income of $90 million in the previous FY and net income of $3.27 billion two years ago.