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TJX Cos. to expand Sierra Trading Post


TJX Cos. announced plans to expand its outdoor lifestyle brand Sierra Trading Post (STP), a four-unit and Internet retailer that TJX acquired in late 2012.

TJX Cos. touted the performance of its HomeGoods and Marmaxx nameplates for another quarter and full fiscal year during its most recent earnings call this week, pointing to particular growth in home-related businesses. The results are fueling a new effort to expand the company's presence and home offering in the STP brand.

This year, TJX Cos. plans to open two more STP units following its "smooth transition" coupled with the benefit the acquisition has made to the company's e-commerce launch of www.tjmaxx.com in the fall.

"We are very excited about [building on] the whole outdoor space, and we think of Sierra Trading like a kind of HomeGoods for the outdoors," CEO Carol Meyrowitz said during TJX Cos.'s earnings call. "We are just starting to open our new stores for this new brand, and we hope it will be a big chain in the future."

She added that the new STP prototype units will be very different from the existing stores. "It will be pretty interesting and will have a unique look and value, value, value - I can't say that enough - in every category," she said. "It will carry an expansive assortment and will be an exciting store."

For the fourth quarter, ended Feb. 1, TJX Cos.'s net income dropped 3.7% to $582 million, or $0.81 per share.

Net sales in the 13 weeks inched up 1% to $7.8 billion, and consolidated comparable store sales grew 3%, driven by an increase in ticket.

November and December sales as "well above plan," said Meyrowitz. However, like most of its peers, TJX took a hit in January due to heavy winter weather, which Meyrowitz said "kept shoppers home and dampened sales."

As a result, "we took aggressive markdowns, particularly in apparel, to clear the product, and start the new fiscal year with clean inventories," she said.

Less affected were Marmaxx and HomeGoods, "which have less weather-sensitive categories," allowing them to perform better in bitter temperatures.


Source: Casual Living

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