Stores

TJX benefits from e-commerce excess, and Target adds more than a million loyalty members

Plus, Macy’s is making progress on its turnaround plan.
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· 3 min read

Retail news that keeps industry pros in the know

Retail Brew delivers the latest retail industry news and insights surrounding marketing, DTC, and e-commerce to keep leaders and decision-makers up to date.

So many large retailers reported their Q1 earnings last week that it’s been hard to keep track of them. In the interest of playing catch-up, here’s a quick rundown of some insights we dug up from a handful of earnings calls:

E-commerce excess: Competition is hot right now in the e-commerce space, as China-based upstarts such as Shein and Temu press their advantage against US-based giants like Amazon and Walmart. And apparently TJX Companies, the parent of discount chains including Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and HomeGoods, is benefiting from an abundance of inventory.

“Fortunately for us, we’re able to take advantage of the excess inventories across the e-comm business as those flex,” CEO Ernie Herrman told shareholders. “Some of the vertical players as well as the full-line players, they’ve had spill-off of goods. That has been a supplier of extra inventory for us.”

TJX has been feeling itself lately, as sales continue to tick up—which accompanies a change in how shoppers perceive the brand, according to Herrman, who said it’s “become a cooler place to shop.”

The company also said it plans to expand its footprint by 1,300-plus stores.

Loyal customers: Target had yet another rough quarter; comparable sales dropped 3.7%, due largely to softness in its home and hardlines categories. On the upside, the retail behemoth’s newly relaunched loyalty program, Target Circle, added more than 1 million new members this quarter.

“Our guests tell us they find the program easier to use, appreciate the clarity of the promotions offered, and understand the value provided with their membership,” Christina Hennington, EVP and chief growth officer, said in an earnings call.

She added that mentions of the program on social media jumped 500% year over year, with help from a marketing campaign starring Kristen Wiig.

Turning it around: Macy’s, meanwhile, is making progress on its planned turnaround effort. The department store, which earlier this year announced plans to close 150 locations, is investing heavily in what it calls its “First 50” stores. In large part, this has entailed shifting resources within stores to improve the customer experience.

“During the quarter, we shifted store staffing to key merchandise departments and to the checkout area, and added visual merchandise staffing,” CEO Tony Spring said on a call with investors. “These changes were well received by our customers.”

Retail news that keeps industry pros in the know

Retail Brew delivers the latest retail industry news and insights surrounding marketing, DTC, and e-commerce to keep leaders and decision-makers up to date.