US clothes chain targets Britain: TJX plans up to 100 discount stores for top brands

THE US retail group TJX is to open as many as 100 clothing superstores in Britain, selling leading brands such as Christian Dior, Joe Bloggs and Liberty at discounted prices.

TJX, with annual sales of dollars 4bn (pounds 2.7bn), opened its first TK Maxx store on Friday in Bristol. A second shop opens this week in Liverpool. TJX is negotiating leases on four more scheduled to open this autumn.

Ben Cammarata, founder, president and chief executive of TJX, said: 'Over the long term we think we have an excellent chance of opening 100 stores in Britain.

'British clothing prices are extremely high, and I think the consumer deserves more. We sense there is a great thirst for value here.'

The expansion rate would depend on the success of the first shops and the ability to cut through planning red tape and secure leases on suitable properties.

The group is talking to several landlords, and there is speculation that it is negotiating with Tesco to take excess space at some of its town centre properties.

Paul Morris, stores analyst at Goldman Sachs, said: 'This is as significant for the clothing industry as CostCo's arrival last year was for food and hard goods.' CostCo provoked intense industry interest with its no-frills, members-only format.

Department stores such as House of Fraser and Allders were most obviously vulnerable to the TK Maxx format, Mr Morris said. Some of the weaker own-brand garment retailers, such as Burton, might also be exposed.

TJX is able to discount 20 to 60 per cent by sourcing less fashionable lines and by taking incomplete ranges, in which some sizes or styles or colours are missing. The choice is often limited.

It also sites the shops in non-prime locations. The Bristol shop is on the top floor - the least visited part - of the Galleries shopping centre. The no-frills format is known in America as 'off-price retailing'.

The stores, of 18,000 to 25,000 square feet, the size of a medium-size supermarket, will stock around 50,000 items of men's and women's fashion, shoes, lingerie, accessories and some gifts and kitchenware. There are changing rooms and centralised tills.

British products will be sourced by a separate UK buying team, numbering nine, which will confer with its counterparts in the US, where combined buying muscle can be brought to bear upon suppliers.

TJX's main chain in the United States, TJ Maxx (the name was altered slightly for the UK), has 520 stores, and the format has been transplanted successfully to Canada.

TJX is quoted in New York with a stock market value of around dollars 2bn. Mr Cammarata's personal holding is worth about dollars 8m.

TJX contrasts itself with discount chains such as Mark One and What Everyone Wants, which sell cheap but largely unbranded clothing.

The closest Britain comes to the format is Matalan, a privately owned, club-style chain, which charges customers a membership fee.

Matalan, based in Preston, has grown to 36 shops, with turnover of about pounds 90m and pre-tax profits of pounds 5.3m. It is thought to be considering a stock market flotation.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Adviser - OTE £30,000

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high