US clothes chain targets Britain: TJX plans up to 100 discount stores for top brands
Sunday 17 April 1994
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.
- 1 Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
- 2 Lisa Randolph-Gant: Queen Elsa cake maker says she will carry on baking and will not let people 'break her spirit'
- 3 Tube strike: This pedestrian-friendly map tells you the time it takes to walk between stations
- 4 Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2015: Three men gored and 10 hospitalised on first day of festival
- 5 Sarah Jessica Parker explains why she is not a feminist: 'It's not just about women now'
Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
Greece debt crisis: Greek future in the euro slips into deeper uncertainty as Alexis Tsipras arrives at emergency talks without a written plan
Man soars over Calgary after tying 110 balloons filled with helium to his lawn chair for PR stunt, gets arrested for mischief
Tube strike: This pedestrian-friendly map tells you the time it takes to walk between stations
Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2015: Three men gored and 10 hospitalised on first day of festival
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...