A Message From Our Chairman and CEO
The year 2014 was another strong year for TJX, following many years of consistent sales and profit growth! We continued our growth as a global, value retailer as we further expanded our North American and European store presence and increased our online offerings in the U.S. and U.K. Sales for the year reached $29.1 billion, up 6% over the prior year. Consolidated comparable store sales grew 2%, on top of a 3% increase last year, and adjusted earnings per share grew 12% over the prior year’s strong growth.*
In the U.S., Marmaxx, our largest division, drove improving results throughout 2014 while bringing T.J. Maxx and Marshalls to even more U.S. markets. HomeGoods delivered outstanding results as the chain’s eclectic mix of home fashions from around the world continued to resonate with U.S. consumers. TJX Canada achieved very solid results and further expanded Marshalls’ reach across Canada. TJX Europe posted yet another strong year, which gives us confidence in our vast growth prospects in Europe. We are also very excited about our online businesses, tjmaxx.com and sierratradingpost.com in the U.S. and tkmaxx.com in the U.K., as we view e-commerce as an important driver of future growth!
As we look ahead, we see tremendous U.S. and international growth opportunities for TJX! Underscoring our confidence is our commitment to our value mission, the power of our off-price model and our ability to leverage our global presence, all strengths which we believe differentiate us from other retailers. We see ourselves as a global sourcing machine! We have a buying organization of more than 1,000 Associates working in 13 buying offices around the world, sourcing merchandise from a universe of more than 17,000 vendors in over 100 countries! We believe our approach will further enhance the treasure hunt experience our customers love. We have great confidence in our ability to continue driving profitable growth for many years to come with our strategy centered on four primary growth pillars: driving customer traffic and comparable store sales, global brick-and-mortar growth, e-commerce expansion, and innovation.
We are convinced we can continue to gain U.S. and international market share by driving customer traffic and comparable stores sales with our global marketing and loyalty initiatives. We believe these will attract even more shoppers to our stores, drive more frequent visits and encourage cross shopping across our brands. Our overall customer satisfaction scores reached a record high in 2014, and we will be working to raise the bar even further this year. Above all, we are convinced that offering trend right, branded merchandise at amazing values is what will keep driving customers to our stores!
We see enormous opportunity to continue our successful global store growth. Earlier this year, we raised our estimates for our long-term store growth potential to 5,475 stores, which is 325 more stores than our prior target and more than 60% growth over our current store base. We believe our off-price concept can resonate wherever consumers seek fashion and brands at great prices. In March 2015, we expanded into our seventh country, Austria, and announced our plans to expand into our eighth country, The Netherlands, in the fall. We also see e-commerce expansion as another growth opportunity and an additional way to reach consumers with our values. Our strategy to “Grow Smart” is to ensure that online sales are incremental to, not at the expense of, our brick-and-mortar business. Our goal is to be there for the customer whenever and wherever they want to shop us!
As leaders in innovation, we are never complacent! We are always testing ideas and new seeds that can fuel future growth. We are confident that our focus on innovation is what will drive our business now and in the future and will keep TJX differentiated from the rest of the retail world.
We remain laser-focused on executing our off-price business model every day while further growing TJX as a global, value retailer. Importantly, teaching and developing our next generation of leaders remains a top priority because we understand that our ability to achieve our future goals relies on the talent and people within our organization. We are proud of our ability to invest in our future growth and our Associates while simultaneously driving superior financial returns and distributing cash to our shareholders through our share buyback and dividend programs. We could not be more excited about the future prospects for TJX as we continue on the road to becoming a $40 billion company and beyond!