TJ Maxx parent beats estimates as Americans return to stores By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A T.J. Maxx store which is owned by TJX Cos Inc in Pasadena, California U.S., May 15, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

(Reuters) -TJX Cos Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly results on Wednesday as mass COVID-19 vaccinations and the easing of restrictions encouraged more Americans to shop at its brick-and-mortar stores.

Same-store sales rose by 16% at the chain’s outlets that remained open during the first quarter from the pre-pandemic level recorded in the comparable period in fiscal 2020.

The strong earnings underscore the improving outlook for off-price retailers, such as TJX (NYSE:)’s TJ Maxx and Ross Stores Inc (NASDAQ:), driven by pent-up demand from customers who are flush with stimulus checks.

TJX said second-quarter comparable-store sales trends at its outlets that were open remain similar to the previous quarter.

The sector, which relies heavily on the treasure-hunt shopping experience offered at off-price stores, suffered a sales drop last year when the pandemic shuttered the economy and accelerated a shift to e-commerce.

TJX said about 300 stores of its stores in Canada and Europe were temporarily closed due to government mandates as of Wednesday. It expects its Canadian stores to be shuttered for 17% of the second quarter.

While store closures weighed on its first-quarter results, overall net sales more than doubled from a year earlier to $10.09 billion in the 13 weeks ended May 1.

Analysts on average had expected a figure of $8.62 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

TJX earned 44 cents per share, beating estimates of 31 cents.

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