To support our goal of an excellent customer experience, we provide our store Associates with training to enhance interactions with customers. We also have several in-store programs designed to motivate and reward our Associates, stores, and districts, as well as programs for Associates to share ideas, including thoughts on how to further improve the customer experience. An important goal of all of our store training programs is to teach, develop, and lead teams to provide friendly and helpful customer service so that our customers can have a positive shopping experience across all of our retail chains.
Behind the scenes, we have specialized teams and systems that enable us to tailor the merchandise in our stores to local preferences and demographics. This helps us get the right products to the right stores at the right time. Our business model allows us to be flexible with our inventory, which has enhanced the treasure hunt experience and drives customer excitement and urgency, encouraging our customers to shop us again and again.
One way we measure our success is by asking customers to rate their experience using online customer satisfaction surveys. Through these responses we can provide feedback to Store Operations management so they may identify opportunities and work to address issues quickly – and ultimately improve the in-store experience. This input also allows us to develop clear customer experience training for store managers, team leaders, and Associates. The data has also helped drive broad improvements across many of our retail chains, including redesigning floor plans, creating small “shops,” and changing lighting to better highlight products. We have carefully tested each initiative for how it can drive excitement about our retail chains and products and continue to help deliver the experience we know our customers love and have come to expect.
2020 brought new operational challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we have navigated those challenges, we have taken numerous steps to protect the health and well-being of our Associates and customers. When we re-opened our stores, we did so with many new health and wellness protocols, including enhanced cleaning regimens, protective shields at our cash registers, occupancy limits, and we have encouraged social distancing throughout our stores via signage, decals, and public address announcements. In addition, we have required all U.S. Associates to wear masks while working in our stores and required all U.S. customers to wear face coverings while shopping.
We believe our efforts to deliver an excellent customer experience and great service are paying off. In 2020, for the third year in a row, TJX was ranked #16 on the National Retail Federation's list of top U.S. retailers. Additionally, for the second straight year, HomeGoods was voted the #2 Brand of the Year in the home goods category by the Harris Poll, which surveyed more than 39,000 U.S. consumers measuring brand familiarity, quality, and purchase consideration.
INFORMATION SECURITY AND PRIVACY
Information security and privacy are very important to TJX. We have many protocols in place that are designed to help protect the security of our customers’ personal information. The Privacy pages on our retail brand websites describe our privacy policies pertaining to the personal information we collect about our customers.
For many years, we have maintained an Information Management Program, led by our Chief Risk and Compliance Officer (CCO) and Information Risk Management Director. This program is overseen by TJX’s Information Management Steering Committee, which meets regularly and includes a number of senior leaders, including the Data Protection Officer, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), and Director of Internal Audit. This Committee is responsible for developing and overseeing strategies to help TJX’s Information Management Program enhance the overall privacy, information security, and records management posture of TJX. Our CCO and CISO regularly report to the Audit Committee of our Board of Directors.
Our Information Management Program incorporates several components, including:
Privacy: Our privacy policies address the types of personal information we collect from customers, how we may use that information, with whom we share that information, how we protect that information, and how individuals can exercise their rights in regards to their personal information. We don’t generate revenue by selling personal information.
Information Security: While cyber threats are constantly evolving and no retailer can guarantee perfect security, we have a multi-faceted approach designed to reduce the risk of unauthorized access to the personal information that we collect from customers. This approach includes measures like encryption for certain types of personal information, controls over access to TJX facilities and systems, along with other threat and risk-based safeguards.
Records Management: Our records management program consists of policies, guidelines, and practices designed to promote both the retention of company records to meet legal and business requirements and the timely deletion of records and other documents, with particular emphasis on minimizing the retention of personal information where appropriate.
In addition to these components, we perform audits where applicable and make training available to appropriate TJX Associates.
Audits: Our Internal Audit team performs audits that address compliance with TJX information security policies and, along with other teams, reviews certain third-party service providers with respect to their security practices concerning personal information.
Associate Training: Privacy and Information Security training is made available to appropriate TJX Associates and is tailored to their job functions. This training is often supplemented with other education, communications, and an internal Information Management website, all designed to help our Associates understand our expectations in this important area.