TJX Combines Stores

Discussion
May 20, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson

The TJX Cos., operators or the T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods retail chains, thinks that two brands together might be better than one.

The company has just opened the second of its combined Marshalls/HomeGoods stores (this one in Secaucus, NJ) and it believes it is in tune with its customers’ needs.

HomeGoods spokeswoman Robyn Arvedon told the Bergen Record newspaper, “Our typical consumer is between 25 and 54. She has a very active lifestyle, she probably has a few kids. While she’s grabbing something for the home, she might find a great pair of jeans, or a great blouse, or vice versa.”

Marshal Cohen, senior analyst for The NPD Group agrees. “That same person who wants to buy some new flatware for the table is also interested in buying something that they can wear that night when they are doing the entertaining.”

TJX first tested the dual brand store concept when it opened a Marshalls/HomeGoods combo store in Florida last year. The company is also testing a dual banner T.J. Maxx/HomeGoods store in Woburn, Mass.

The newest store located in The Mall at Mill Creek is 65,000 square feet and is separated in the middle with signs that read “Welcome to HomeGoods” and “Welcome to Marshalls,” depending on the direction customers are headed.

According to The Record, the “HomeGoods side of the building has a wood floor and soft lighting. The Marshalls side has a tile floor and bright, fluorescent lighting.”

Kurt Barnard, president of Barnard’s Retail Trend Report, thinks TJX is on the right path with its dual branding proposition. “It familiarizes the customer with the entirety of what T.J. Maxx stores represent.”

Candace Corlett, a principal at WSL Strategic Retail, isn’t sold on the combination of Marshalls with HomeGoods. “Marshalls is still perceived as the place for that wonderful find, that was five times more in the department store,” she said. “I don’t think HomeGoods is a replacement for that treasure hunt.”

Moderator’s Comment: Do you agree with TJX’s dual branding or banner approach? Where else do you see opportunities for dual branding in retail?

George Anderson – Moderator

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4 Comments on "TJX Combines Stores"


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William Wood
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William Wood
15 years 9 months ago
This is not a new idea. Not for TJX. Not for the retail industry. But it’s not inherently a bad idea. It has tremendous upside benefit to the retailer from the ops side while offering the customer convenience and economies – in both time and money. Plus the 65,000 sq. ft. medium-size box will likely slip under the radar of anti-big-boxers, making it an ideal tenant for new urban-lifestyle retail developments and as infill for the empty supermarkets littering the landscape after Wal-Mart and Target move into the neighborhood. One needs only to look to the heartland to see the apparel-home strategy working. Gordman’s is alive and well and blooming on the plains of the Midwest, in 45,000 sq. ft. boxes, more than 20% of which is set aside for Home. And hasn’t Kohl’s been tinkering with a smaller 65,000 sq. ft. prototype, including apparel and home? Forget the one-name-two-name-issue. Or, using decor to distinguish apparel from home. Once inside the door, the customer is “there to shop” and it’s up to the architects, store… Read more »
Timothy OToole
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Timothy OToole
15 years 9 months ago

This isn’t really a “new” concept for TJX. They opened several “TJ MAXX & MORE” Stores in the Boston region about 6-7 years ago. The store at the Woburn Mall that the article mentions was one of those stores. I think they may be “re-branding” the stores they have had so that the customer is more in tune with the fact that it is in fact a combination. Not all HomeGoods shoppers realize that TJX owns Maxx and Marshalls. I think what this does for Maxx and Marshalls is to give a much larger showcase area for the terrific deals, treasures and values, that they are able to present to their customers on the housewares side. From what I remember, when I worked for the company some 6 years ago, this was a very successful venture.

Mark Hunter
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Mark Hunter
15 years 9 months ago

Key is in keeping the look of the two sides different as they’ve done with the store in NJ. As long as they keep a different look for the two formats, they will win. If they do blend the two together, both will lose due to the blurring and the lack of a meaningful difference in what they’re selling. Right now Marshalls is much more clearly defined than HomeGoods, so they would lose the most.

Art Williams
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Art Williams
15 years 9 months ago

It all depends on how well it is executed and what the combinations are. It would seem to be very easy to short change either or both sides of the equation. How similar are the demographics of the primary shoppers? It should save overhead by combining but only if it works. And what do you do if only one side is successful? Do you then devote the entire space to the survivor even if it doesn’t warrant it?

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