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Activewear and Home Drive Big Gains in TJ Maxx Parent’s Better-Than-Expected Quarter

The TJX Companies Inc. surpassed market watchers’ expectations in the third quarter, driven by performances in its activewear and home categories.

For the three months ended Oct. 31, the off-price retail group posted earnings of 71 cents per share, compared with the prior year’s 68 cents. Analysts had anticipated EPS of 40 cents. Revenues amounted to $10.12 billion — down from the prior year’s $10.45 billion but better than consensus bets of $9.36 billion.

“Our third-quarter results significantly exceeded our plans on both the top and bottom lines as consumers were drawn to our compelling brands and values,” president and CEO Ernie Herrman said in a statement. “All of our divisions drove sales above our plans, and our home, beauty and activewear businesses outperformed at Marmaxx, TJX Canada and TJX International.”

Overall, the Framingham, Mass.-based business posted a 5% drop in “open-only” comps, which were defined as the increase or decrease of sales at stores for the days they were open in Q3 2021 against sales for those same days in Q3 2020.

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By brand, the Marmaxx division — comprised of Marshalls and TJ Maxx in the United States — saw a 10% decline in those sales, while TJX Canada logged a 7% fall and TJX International (counting Europe and Australia) sank 6%.

However, HomeGoods delivered another quarter of double-digit comps, growing 15%. To capitalize on the market, which has experienced a surge as the global pandemic continues to keep many people indoors, TJX plans to roll out e-commerce for the chain via HomeGoods.com later next year.

Currently, about 470 of the company’s brick-and-mortar stores are temporarily shuttered due to local government mandates in response to the outbreak. The vast majority of these stores are located in Europe. (The TKMaxx.com platform remains operational in the United Kingdom.)

While many cities and states in the U.S. have also put new restrictions back into place as cases rise, retail stores have — so far — been able to stay open. But some big retail hotspots, including California, have limited capacity to 25% in key areas.

“As we begin the fourth quarter, while significant uncertainty around COVID-19 remains, we are as focused as ever on bringing consumers exciting gift selections at excellent values,” Herrman added. “We plan to ship fresh assortments to our stores and online throughout the holiday selling season. Longer term, when we are past this health crisis, we are very confident that we will continue to gain more customers and drive the successful growth of TJX well into the future.”

For the first two weeks of Q4, TJX noted that open-only comps were down 7% — similar to the trend it recorded during the last week of October. Due to uncertainties stemming from the novel coronavirus, it opted against providing guidance for the fiscal year and the next quarter.

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