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The Innovation That Could Disrupt TJX's 23-Year Winning Streak


Autor: Chirs Walton

TJX crushes it. They kill it, for 23 straight years to be exact.

Yes, amazingly, every year, for 23 consecutive years, TJX Companies, Inc. has seen positive comp store sales growth. Late last week TJX put the feather in its cap again, when it reported that comparable store sales rose 6% for its recent fiscal year, on top of 2% growth over the year prior.

In many way, TJX’s performance is a weird anomaly. Amid all the talk of the retail apocalypse, the shedding of past-their-prime retailers (e.g. Toys R Us), and the continued struggles of so many other retailers, there TJX continues to stand, year after year, like a bright beacon on a Massachusetts hill.

The TJX business model (aka TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, etc.) has been impregnable. Like Costco, it has taken the best punches e-commerce has thrown its way and stood up again, round after round, asking for more.

 Digital, for all its glory, has never figured out how to capture the magic of TJX’s reason for being -- the treasure hunt dynamic of its stores and their physical celebration of both the social aspect of shopping and the unexpected joy of a great product find.

E-commerce doesn’t do either of these things well.

Deal sites have tried to capture this ethos, but, after numerous fits and spurts (see Gilt Groupe), they continue to stall. Sure, consumers might enjoy hot deal buys on certain products now and again, but browsing just because one loves to browse and then suddenly stumbling upon a great price, on an unexpected product, is a different matter entirely.

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