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HomeGoods Goes Digital Ahead of Holiday Stampede

TJX has finally decided to bring HomeGoods online.

The off-price home décor retailer with more than 820 U.S. stores now joins sister retailers T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and outdoor apparel seller Sierra with an e-commerce presence.

TJX CEO and president Ernie Hermann teased the news last month in the company’s earnings call, but the site officially went live Tuesday.

Homegoods.com offers a curated mix of merchandise across categories including bedding, bath, decorative pillows, kitchen goods, seasonal décor, pet and storage/organization, with new products to be added regularly. HomeGoods plans to expand its online collection to include gifts and festive décor in time for the holiday season.

Additionally, the site offers a virtual store tour where shoppers can view the layout of their local store and discover what products are currently sold in different categories.

The launch arrives amid unprecedented e-commerce demand, giving HomeGoods a promising new revenue stream. But this demand also is building up to a hectic holiday season that is likely to be defined by shipping delays, port congestion and overworked employees across distribution centers and delivery networks.

So while the home retailer wants to capitalize on the windfall of holiday purchases, its six distribution centers will confront what might be their busiest season ever.

“We are thrilled to bring a second way for our passionate shoppers to discover and shop an assortment they know and love,” said John Ricciuti, president of HomeGoods. “We hope our customers find the same excitement shopping HomeGoods online as they do exploring the aisles of our stores.”

Store experiences at HomeGoods are typically localized, according to Hermann, so products that don’t sell as well in one market will be pushed online. The online business complements the store, particularly for shoppers who don’t make home purchases in complete sets, Hermann said in the August call. Unlike the Marmaxx brands, HomeGoods will maintain the same merchandising operation across both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar.

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“That’s why it’s been a bit of a different strategy on the way we are buying it, which by the way should leverage profit for us faster,” the CEO said. “We don’t have as much overhead as we do in the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls online as we do there. This is a much leaner setup and we are currently playing with a shipping strategy on how we’re going to ask the customer to pay for shipping.”

Currently, the site offers free shipping on all orders of $119 or more. Online merchandise can be shipped back or returned in-store within 40 days of the order date. HomeGoods does not offer buy online, pickup in-store at the moment.

HomeGoods and its other sister label, fellow home retailer Homesense, generated a collective $2.1 billion for the second quarter, an increase of 69 percent year over year. The segment’s profit totaled $182 million in the period.

TJX companies have traditionally been late to the e-commerce party. T.J. Maxx first launched its online presence in 2013, while Marshalls didn’t open an online site in the U.S. until 2019. Homesense has a website, but it doesn’t sell merchandise, instead existing to showcase products and direct shoppers to local stores. Sierra is the only business of TJX with a longstanding e-commerce presence, which was established before the off-price giant acquired the outdoor brand in 2012 for $200 million.

“We are excited to expand HomeGoods’ digital footprint so customers can shop whenever they’d like,” said Mark DeOliveira, president, TJX Digital U.S. “Homegoods.com will provide a complementary experience to our stores, allowing shoppers to pair in-store purchases with online finds to bring their vision to life.”

HomeGoods engaged shoppers through social media ahead of its e-commerce launch, with 3.4 million followers on Instagram and 3.2 million followers on Facebook. The HomeGoods Pinterest account boasts 676,000 followers, while 232,000 users follow the chain on Twitter.