The TJX Companies, Inc. is the latest corporation to announce store closures amid the coronavirus pandemic — and it’s shuttering its online business for now, too.
The off-price retailer has announced the closure of all stores in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia for two weeks, effective today. As of February 2020, TJX operated 4,529 stores in nine countries, including 1,273 T.J. Maxx and 1,130 Marshalls units within the U.S.
The parent company of TJ Maxx and Marshalls is also temporarily shutting down its e-commerce businesses, as well as its distribution centers and offices. Employees who are able to work remotely during this time have been instructed to do so. Those who are unable to work from home will continue to be paid during this closure, the company said.
TJX joins many other retailers, including Nordstrom, Nike and JCPenney, in temporarily shuttering stores due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company is one of the first, however, to also shut down its online sales — in fact, many retailers have conversely shifted resources to digital and attempted to lure more shoppers to their websites via discounts and promotions amid the near lockdown spurred by the pandemic.
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In light of the evolving coronavirus situation, TJX announced today the withdrawal of its first quarter and full year guidance, declining to put forth a revised guidance at this time. The retailer had anticipated earnings per share in the range of $2.77 to $2.83, an increase of 4% to 6% over the previous year’s $2.67. The corporation’s outlook was based on estimated same-store sales growth of 2% to 3%.
Off-price has been on a winning streak over the past few years, with discount retailers consistently bucking industry-wide trends amid retail turbulence spurred by digital disruption and other factors. Experts believe the success of chains such as TJ Maxx and Marshalls has come from their ability to offer low prices as well as a “treasure hunt” experience that allows shoppers to unexpectedly find products by major brands.
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