Retail

TJX's Open-Only Comp Sales Fall 3 Pct Amid Pandemic

TJX's Open-Only Comp Sales Fall 3 Pct Amid Pandemic

TJX Cos. announced on Wednesday (Aug. 19) that its overall "open-only comp store" sales were down 3 percent compared to last year for Q2 FY21. The firm said it reopened 4,500 retail locations throughout the globe, as well as its eCommerce websites, during the quarter, according to an announcement.

“As we reopened our stores around the world, the response of our customers was beyond what we could have imagined,” TJX Companies, Inc. Chief Executive Officer and President Ernie Herrman said in an earnings call with analysts.

TJX said it saw very formidable initial sales throughout its brands and nations at the time of reopening and a portion of that trend was because of pent-up demand from shoppers. The company said that “traffic and sales moderated” as it progressed from Q2 to Q3.

“Many shoppers continue to be attracted to the experience of walking [into] our stores to discover something new and be inspired and to assess the quality of the merchandise firsthand,” Herrman said. “Our customers have told us that our treasure-hunt shopping experience is a source of entertainment and a way for them to have a release and some feel-good 'me-time.’”

TJX said it implemented procedures in an effort to assist in safeguarding the wellness of shoppers and workers. Those efforts include bolstered cleaning, occupancy restrictions, social distancing measures and access to PPE. Additionally, the retailer has required face coverings for shoppers in retail locations in the United States as well as Canada, while it is adhering to regional requirements in Australia and Europe.

TJX has also seen shoppers make return visits to its stores, which Herrman said “indicates to us that the health and safety protocols we put in place are meeting their expectations.”

TJX reported total inventories as of Aug. 1 were $3.7 billion in comparison with $5.1 billion at the conclusion of Q2 last year. The retailer grew its store count by 12 locations to an overall 4,557 shops during the quarter concluding Aug. 1.

As for its overall results, TJX reported a net loss of $214 million (18 cents per share) on net sales of $6.7 billion for Q2 FY21. The company fell short of analysts' bottom-line expectations of a loss per share of 10 cents on $6.57 billion.

“We have great confidence in the future of this great business,” Herrman said. “TJX is a fundamentally strong company with a successful track record that spans over four decades, including several recessions.”

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