The pandemic took a toll on TJX Companies in the fourth quarter of 2020, with net sales down 10.3% to $10.9 billion, and overall open-only comp store sales falling 3% year over year.
In the fourth quarter, open-only comp sales declines 7% for TJ Maxx and Marshalls stores in the U.S., though they increased 12% for HomeGoods stores — a reflection of retail gains made during the pandemic of home goods and home improvement products. TJX Canada comp sales fell 4% while TJX International — that is, Europe and Asia — fell 2%.
The retailer’s results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 were negatively impacted by the temporary closure of some of its stores due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Although the company’s stores in the U.S. were generally open the entire fourth quarter, stores in Europe were closed for approximately 63% of the fourth quarter and stores in Canada were closed for about 32% of the quarter. In total, the company had stores closed for approximately 13% of the fourth quarter due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The off-price and home fashions retailer now has approximately 690 stores that are temporarily closed due to government mandates in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The company has some 4,500 total store locations.
The vast majority of these stores are located in Europe, where the company expects stores will be temporarily closed for an estimated 67% of the first quarter of fiscal 2022. In total, based on restrictions currently in place, the company expects its stores to be closed for approximately 11% of the first quarter of fiscal 2022.
The retailer estimates that European and Canadian closures may have resulted in approximately $950 million to $1.05 billion in lost sales during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021.
The company posted a fourth quarter net incomes of $326 million.
“I am very pleased that our fourth quarter open-only comp store sales were down only 3%, exceeding our plans,” said Ernie Herrman, CEO and president of The TJX Companies. “Our brands, values, and exciting gift assortments resonated with customers, and we achieved these results despite numerous COVID-related headwinds. Overall open-only comp store sales improved each month of the quarter and were positive in January. Further, open-only comp store sales exceeded our plans across each of our divisions, including at HomeGoods which once again delivered a double-digit increase. We also saw continued strength in our home and beauty departments.”
For the full year 2020, the retailer’s net sales declined by about 23% to approximately $32.1 billion, with total open-only comp store sales falling by 4%.