It’s no secret that shoppers want more for less—and Marmaxx is making a mint from their thrifty ways.
Strong consumer traffic was the core driver of a 6 percent increase in comparable store sales in the fourth quarter for The TJX Companies (TJX), helping the off-price operator pump up its net sales by percent to $9 billion, while profit rose to $666 million. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) were $0.99 in the 13 weeks ended Jan. 30, a 6 percent increase over last year’s $0.93.
It seems there’s no stopping TJX, which achieved a 5 percent increase in net sales to $7.8 billion in the third quarter, as well as net income of $587 million. To that end, net sales for the full year were up 6 percent to $30.9 billion, compared to $29.1 billion in fiscal 2015.
“The year 2015 marks our 20th consecutive year of increases in comp sales and EPS,” declared Ernie Herman, chief executive officer and president of TJX. “We have sustained profitable growth through many types of economic and retail climates and in different regions around the world, and we have great confidence in the future.”
Not surprisingly, Marmaxx (Marshalls and T.J. Maxx) made up the majority of the company’s business for the quarter and year ended Jan. 30: comps increased 6 percent in Q4 and net sales were up to $5.7 billion from $5.3 billion, while full-year comps rose 4 percent and net sales were up to nearly $20 billion.
“[Customer traffic] was also the primary driver of our comp increases at every division in the fourth quarter and full year as we continued delivering consumers a differentiated offering at extreme value,” Herman stated. “The year is off to a strong start and we have many initiatives planned to continue driving sales and traffic.”
On Wednesday, the company also announced its plan to repurchase between $1.5 billion and $2 billion of TJX stock during the fiscal year ending Jan. 28, 2017.
“In fiscal 2017, we plan to continue investing to support our growth while distributing cash to our shareholders. In addition to investing in our associates, our capital spending plans include new stores, store remodels and our supply chain and infrastructure,” Herman explained, adding, “Simultaneously, we plan to significantly increase our regular quarterly dividend and will continue to buy back shares at significant levels. All of these actions underscore our confidence in our ability to continue delivering strong, profitable sales across all of our divisions and cash flow that enables us to both fund our continued growth and return value to our shareholders.”
As of Jan. 30, TJX operated 3,614 stores in nine countries, including North America, the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Poland, Austria, the Netherlands and Australia, as well as three e-commerce sites.