Merchant Innovation

How TJX Wants To Drive Growth With Sierra Trading Post

2015 was a very good year for T.J.Maxx (TJX). The retailer caught the off-price wave perfectly, while its higher-priced department store competitors struggled in the doldrums of warm winter weather. Now, it looks like 2016 is shaping up to be just as profitable for TJX as last year.

Chain Store Age reported that TJX has jumpstarted an expansion project for Sierra Trading Post (STP), a subsidiary originally acquired in 2012. The brick-and-mortar growth for STP has been ongoing since the acquisition with a focus on the chain's original west-of-the-Rockies market, with two new stores in Denver and Fort Collins in 2014 and two more in Colorado Springs and Burlington, Vermont, in 2015. Now, TJX is turning the growth knob up to 11 with more planned openings in Salt Lake City, Utah, in May and Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Q3.

“We are very happy with the early reads in our new Sierra Trading Post stores, and we would be thrilled for STP to eventually become a fourth major chain in the U.S. and Canada,” Ernie Herman, CEO of TJX, said during a recent earnings call. "Also, our successful expansion of TK Maxx into Austria and the Netherlands further demonstrates that our value proposition can work in many other European markets."

It shouldn't be too surprising to see TJX pushing STP as a vehicle for growth, especially considering the company's accelerated business plan with its core stores. Herman pegged TJX's future on expanding at least 50 percent off its current footprint, which would bring the company's total store count to 5,600. At the close of 2015, TJX had accrued 3,614 of those storefronts, and with 195 coming in 2016, an ideal world for TJX would see the current boom market of off-price retail continue for quite some time to come.

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