TJX launching rare online sales component with HomeGoods

TJX launching rare online sales component with HomeGoods

TJX Cos. has for years been an exception to the typical struggle of brick-and-mortar retailers, with what it pitches as a treasure hunt-like experience.

Now, though, the Framingham retailer is making a new move online. The company plans to roll out a new e-commerce service for its HomeGoods chain in the later half of 2021, President and CEO Ernie Herrman said in a conference call coinciding with the company’s third-quarter financial statement on Wednesday.

“We believe HomeGoods e-commerce will allow us to leverage both our strength in our home category and the power of our global buying organization and sourcing universe,” Herrman said.

The new e-commerce initiative will be a rare foray into online shopping for TJX, whose brands, including TJMaxx and Marshalls, typically rely on consumers going into stores for unexpected finds that they might not find online. That niche has worked well: TJX reported $867 million in net income during the company’s third quarter, up 5% over last year, on $10.1 billion in revenue, which dropped 5%. HomeGoods accounted for $1.9 billion in revenue.

Those results come as 470 of TJX’s more than 4,500 stores remain closed because of the pandemic, primarily in Europe. Many consumers are still reluctant to shop in person because of the virus, Herrman said.

HomeGoods, which sells furniture and home decor, will make a move online as it far outpaces its TJX counterparts in the company. HomeGoods revenue in the United States was up 15% in the third quarter, while the TJMaxx and Marshalls division was down 10%. TJX has been adding a bigger mix of home products across all of its chains, Herrman said. HomeGoods has been rapidly expanding, adding roughly 300 stores in the past five years to more than 800 nationwide today.

TJX has doubled down on home products before, launching its new Homesense line in 2017. That chain now has 34 locations.

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