We Shopped at TJ Maxx to See The Impact of Inflation and Shipping Delays — Here’s What We Saw

The global supply chain breakdown is impacting all facets of retail, even the off-price sector.

Like other discount retailers, TJX Companies Inc., parent to Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, and Home Goods, generally acquires inventory by scooping up excess product from premium brands such as Gucci, Adidas, and Steve Madden.

But this year, shipment delays and port congestion has led to product shortages, which means less inventory in the chain of supply.

Luckily for TJX, these headwinds are not yet cause for alarm. In its Q3 earnings report. TJX reported net sales of $12.5 billion, marking a year-over-year increase of 24%. Inventory levels were also up on a per store basis compared to Q1 and Q2.

“Despite the much-discussed supply chain constraints, we continue to expect more inventory than people expect as supply chains are slowed down this year, not shut down like last year,” said BMO Captial Markets analyst Simeon Siegel in a note regarding TJX’s performance.

We checked out the offerings at a TJ Maxx store in NYC city to see the impact ourselves and found a fully stocked footwear and apparel section, chock full of popular brands at mostly value prices.

Adidas jacket TJ Maxx
CREDIT: Shoshy Ciment/Footwear News

While we expected to see a dearth of product, there was a large selection of handbags as well as apparel. Across men’s and women’s, we found activewear apparel from brands such as Adidas Spyder, Asics, and Reebok.

While reduced manufacturing and general pull back from the discount sector is creating the potential for major product shortages in the off price arena, TJX’s “superior buying expertise and the very strong industry connections of its buyers will help it mitigate some of these challenges compared to rivals,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData.

He added that supply chain disruptions create an opportunity for TJX to acquire and sell product meant for earlier seasons that brands can no longer use in stores.

Shoes TJ Maxx
CREDIT: Shoshy Ciment/Footwear News

Though this TJ Maxx only had a women’s footwear section, we found it well stocked. Here, we saw shoes from top brands including Gucci, Manolo Blahnik, Francesco Russo, Jimmy Choo, and Saint Laurent.

“We can’t emphasize this enough, availability of quality branded merchandise is excellent, and we’re confident that we have plenty of inventory in our stores and online for the holiday season,” said senior EVP and CFO Scott Goldenberg in a call with investors.

Shoes in TJ Maxx
CREDIT: Shoshy Ciment/Footwear News

While discounted, some shoes still seemed somewhat expensive, which could be a part of TJ Maxx’s stated goal to raise prices on certain items.

“Our strategy to surgically raise retails on select items is well underway, and we believe it is working very effectively as shoppers continue to see outstanding value every day,” said TJX CEO Ernie Herrman in a call with investors.

However, analysts say these price increases are unlikely to deter shoppers.

“Select price increases were instituted surgically across categories at the beginning of Q3 of 2022, with TJX shoppers showing little resistance,” wrote Cowen analyst John Kernan in a note.

TJ Maxx shoes
CREDIT: Shoshy Ciment/Footwear News

Overall, the store’s large assortment of high quality brands made it clear why TJX is doing well among consumers, even amid global supply chain headwinds and slightly higher prices.

Investment research firm Jane Hali and Associates said it remains positive for TJX in the long term.

“We believe the retailer is focused on key categories that are interesting to consumers and has stocked those categories accordingly,” the research firm said in a note. “TJX should be able to better navigate supply chain issues with its 13 global buying offices, over 18,000 vendors, and 100+ sourcing countries.

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