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TK Maxx and Marshalls to Switch Gears, Step Up Their Internet Game

When it’s deliver-or-die, supply chains become the lifeblood of a company. To that end, the fashion industry has embraced technology to navigate today’s hyper-complicated supply chain, with myriad solutions shaping the first, middle and last mile. Call it Sourcing 2.0.

Mega retailer TJX–the conglomerate behind TK Maxx and Marshalls, and the happy reporters of more than $25.9 billion in sales last year–is about to step up its online game, and with over 3,050 stores, and 7% comparable-store sales increases in the fourth quarter, analysts predict the company could be a major contender.

Currently, the retailer does a very limited business online, selling only a small assortment of its TK Maxx brand online, but the company seems eager to make the leap. This December, it paid approximately $200 million to takeover the discount e-retailer Sierra Trading Post, added 700 e-commerce experts to its base of employees, and described e-commerce as “an important long-term growth opportunity and offense strategy.”

Not everyone, however, is confident that TK Maxx can make the smooth transition. In a recent interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Leon Nicholas, director of retail insights at Kantar Retail, pointed out that TK Maxx’s business business model isn’t based on replenishment apparel, it’s more of a treasure hunt,” he said of TK Maxx.

Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, said the company was “10 years behind the ball” in the e-commerce world. “This is a company that does a superb job at blocking and tackling, straight-ahead football,” he said, “and suddenly they draft a run out of the pocket quarterback.”

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