News | Strategy: TJ Maxx has thrived while other retailers struggle in an evolving shopping industry. We shopped there and saw why. (TJX)

Strategy: TJ Maxx has thrived while other retailers struggle in an evolving shopping industry. We shopped there and saw why. (TJX)

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  • TJ Maxx, like many other off-price retailers, is thriving.
  • Parent company TJX Companies reported on November 20 that comparable sales were up 9% at TJ Maxx and Marshalls in the most recent fiscal quarter.
  • TJ Maxx has benefited from a disappearing middle class, shoppers' love for discounted products and the treasure-hunt experience that it offers, and the fact that most of its stores are located away from enclosed shopping malls.
  • We went to TJ Maxx and saw why it's doing so well.

TJ Maxx is thriving.

TJ Maxx's parent company, TJX Companies, reported on November 20 that comparable sales were up 9% at TJ Maxx and Marshalls in the most recent fiscal quarter. It was the 17th consecutive quarter that customer traffic was up at the stores.

The off-price retailer has been benefiting from a disappearing middle class and a higher demand for budget options — two factors that have been hurting department stores like JCPenney and Sears.

Many shoppers have become accustomed to heavy discounting in the past decade.

"The value-seeking mindset is an interesting one as it is often assumed that it is most prevalent during times of economic difficulty. However, our data shows that it is now an underlying constant in terms of what consumers look for when shopping," Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, wrote in a note to investors in August.

TJ Maxx has also been able to avoid the ill effects of declining foot traffic to shopping malls. Most TJ Maxx stores are located in suburban strip malls rather than enclosed shopping malls, so the discount chain is less likely to be affected by the declining foot traffic that has hurt malls and the retailers that depend on them.

Like other off-price retailers, TJ Maxx is know for offering a treasure-hunt experience in stores, which is difficult to replicate online.

We recently visited TJ Maxx and saw why the store is doing so well:

I went to TJ Maxx in Manhattan's Financial District.

I went to TJ Maxx in Manhattan's Financial District.play

I went to TJ Maxx in Manhattan's Financial District.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

At the front of the store was a table with makeup and beauty products. I didn't recognize any of the brand names.

At the front of the store was a table with makeup and beauty products. I didn't recognize any of the brand names.play

At the front of the store was a table with makeup and beauty products. I didn't recognize any of the brand names.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

The displays in the front of the store had signs reading "high end designers without the high prices."

The displays in the front of the store had signs reading "high end designers without the high prices."play

The displays in the front of the store had signs reading "high end designers without the high prices."

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

The women's clothing was to the right of the entrance. Shopping at TJ Maxx generally feels like a treasure hunt.

The women's clothing was to the right of the entrance. Shopping at TJ Maxx generally feels like a treasure hunt.play

The women's clothing was to the right of the entrance. Shopping at TJ Maxx generally feels like a treasure hunt.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

All of the different styles and brands the stores offer are mixed in together, so you never know what you might find.

All of the different styles and brands the stores offer are mixed in together, so you never know what you might find.play

All of the different styles and brands the stores offer are mixed in together, so you never know what you might find.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

The beauty products were next to the women's clothing. This section was also set up to be a bit of a treasure hunt.

The beauty products were next to the women's clothing. This section was also set up to be a bit of a treasure hunt.play

The beauty products were next to the women's clothing. This section was also set up to be a bit of a treasure hunt.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

It's very different from shopping for makeup at any other store because nothing is organized by brand.

It's very different from shopping for makeup at any other store because nothing is organized by brand.play

It's very different from shopping for makeup at any other store because nothing is organized by brand.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

TJ Maxx carries perfumes from brands like Bvlgari and Marc Jacobs. Most designer perfumes are priced under $75.

TJ Maxx carries perfumes from brands like Bvlgari and Marc Jacobs. Most designer perfumes are priced under $75.play

TJ Maxx carries perfumes from brands like Bvlgari and Marc Jacobs. Most designer perfumes are priced under $75.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

There were tons of designer handbags for under $50 as well.

There were tons of designer handbags for under $50 as well.play

There were tons of designer handbags for under $50 as well.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

The men's clothing was set up very similarly to the women's clothing.

The men's clothing was set up very similarly to the women's clothing.play

The men's clothing was set up very similarly to the women's clothing.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

On top of the already low prices, there's a clearance section with men's and women's clothing and accessories.

On top of the already low prices, there's a clearance section with men's and women's clothing and accessories.play

On top of the already low prices, there's a clearance section with men's and women's clothing and accessories.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

TJ Maxx had a big toy section on the first floor. It was a bit of a mess, but it carried a big variety of products.

TJ Maxx had a big toy section on the first floor. It was a bit of a mess, but it carried a big variety of products.play

TJ Maxx had a big toy section on the first floor. It was a bit of a mess, but it carried a big variety of products.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

Behind the toys were shoes. TJ Maxx carries brands like Nike, Adidas, Ugg, and Sperry at discounted prices.

Behind the toys were shoes. TJ Maxx carries brands like Nike, Adidas, Ugg, and Sperry at discounted prices.play

Behind the toys were shoes. TJ Maxx carries brands like Nike, Adidas, Ugg, and Sperry at discounted prices.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

Downstairs was even more of a treasure hunt. I found everything you might need to stock a kitchen ...

Downstairs was even more of a treasure hunt. I found everything you might need to stock a kitchen ...play

Downstairs was even more of a treasure hunt. I found everything you might need to stock a kitchen ...

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

... and a lot of random home products.

... and a lot of random home products.play

... and a lot of random home products.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

It was also filled with holiday decor and seasonal products when I visited.

It was also filled with holiday decor and seasonal products when I visited.play

It was also filled with holiday decor and seasonal products when I visited.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

TJ Maxx had a few aisles with coffee, tea, snacks, supplements, and spices. Almost everything cost less than $10.

TJ Maxx had a few aisles with coffee, tea, snacks, supplements, and spices. Almost everything cost less than $10.play

TJ Maxx had a few aisles with coffee, tea, snacks, supplements, and spices. Almost everything cost less than $10.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

There were more snacks and chocolates by the register as well. The lines were short, but there were a lot of people there shopping. TJ Maxx accepts returns on purchases for up to 30 days with a receipt.

There were more snacks and chocolates by the register as well. The lines were short, but there were a lot of people there shopping. TJ Maxx accepts returns on purchases for up to 30 days with a receipt.play

There were more snacks and chocolates by the register as well. The lines were short, but there were a lot of people there shopping. TJ Maxx accepts returns on purchases for up to 30 days with a receipt.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

Source: TJ Maxx

TJ Maxx is inexpensive to shop at, and it's set up in such a way that you never knew what you might find. It's clear why it's so popular with today's shoppers.

play (Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)
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