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Chief Executive Officer
I am extremely proud of TJX’s performance in 2011, which marked another great year for TJX and underscores the power of our flexible business model to perform in almost any kind of economic environment! Consolidated comparable store sales were up 4% on top of a 4% increase in the prior year and earnings grew substantially over double-digit growth in 2010. Above all, we delivered extraordinary values on ever-changing assortments of current fashions and great brands to consumers, and once again, we ended the year with significant gains in customer traffic. We ran our business with even leaner store inventories, which drove faster inventory turns and strong merchandise margins. In the U.S., Marmaxx and HomeGoods delivered excellent performance. Internationally, TJX Canada regained its momentum by the end of 2011 and TJX Europe also ended the year with a very strong finish. We began a new year with strong momentum in all of our divisions and are off to a great start in 2012, having posted excellent first quarter results!
Looking ahead, we strive to continue to raise the bar in executing all of the elements of our flexible business model that have made this Company great. We are convinced we will continue to attract more U.S. and international customers with our extraordinary values and believe that value will remain a top priority for consumers. To attract and retain new customers, we are raising the bar through even more powerful marketing and upgrading the shopping experience. We continuously work to make our brand penetration even better with more brands and even more vendors. Our vendor universe has grown to over 15,000. A major factor giving us confidence in sustaining our top- and bottom-line growth is our belief that we have even further opportunities in supply chain precision and running our business with even leaner inventories and faster turns, which leads to margin growth. Most importantly, TJX is always about value. Value has been our mission for 35 years – to offer great value through our four pillars of great fashion, brand, quality and price – and value will remain at the core of our Company!
Our vision to grow TJX to be a global, $40 billion value retailer is as clear as it has ever been. We operate a focused portfolio of four large divisions, which together represent tremendous growth potential for TJX in the U.S. and internationally. With over 2,900 stores today, we see the potential to grow to up to approximately 4,500 stores long term with our current portfolio in our current markets. Importantly, we are proud of our ability to invest for the long term while simultaneously driving strong, consistent sales and earnings growth and returns for shareholders. We began 2012 with great momentum and are excited about our global growth prospects. As we grow, our commitment to always being about value in the short and long term is unwavering!