Friday, May 19, 2017

TJX Bringing Canadian Brand HomeSense to U.S. Market

TJX to bring HomeSense store to United States later this summer.

 TJX Companies, the Framingham, Massachusetts based owner of popular retail chains Marshalls, T.J.Maxx and HomeGoods, is bringing their Canadian concept HomeSense, to America.  The upcoming store opening is the previously announced "new home concept store" announced by TJX this past March.  The introduction of the HomeSense store to the U.S. market was confirmed by company officials during its first quarter fiscal 2018 investor conference call this week.

Ernie Herrman, TJX President and CEO, was vague on the specific timing and locations of the first HomeSense stores, but did say that the company would have “a few locations” open by this fall.  The first domestic HomeSense store is expected to debut "late this summer."  At least one of the upcoming HomeSense stores will open in Framingham, the company revealed when pressed further in the Q&A session.  

When asked if HomeSense would be different enough to avoid cannibalization of HomeGoods, Herrman responded by saying that HomeSense will provide shoppers with a "dramatically different shopping experience" (than HomeGoods.)  Herrman further explained that HomeSense stores will differ in the categories they offer and in the ways they are designed and operationally executed.  Herrman also mentioned verbiage that seemed to suggest that HomeSense could utilize U-Scan-type technology, allowing customers to check themselves out.    

One thing I'd love to see the company implement is a checkout lane exclusively for TJX Rewards cardholders.  The company is constantly pushing the card on customers, so why not provide expedited checkout as an incentive to encourage enrollment? 

HomeSense is being designed to complement HomeGoods the way Marshalls complements T.J.Maxx.  

T.J.Maxx for instance, features a jewelry counter, but Marshalls does not.  Marshalls features men's, women's and children's shoes, whereas T.J.Maxx is generally women's only. 

Like other TJX brands, HomeSense stores are likely to open in centers already home to T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and or HomeGoods.

“HomeSense will offer customers a different mix of home fashions than HomeGoods, but at the same great value,” he said. “We believe we are significantly underpenetrated in the total U.S. home market and feel there is enormous opportunity for us to gain share in this space.” 

TJX launched the HomeSense concept as a Canadian version of HomeGoods in 2001.  HomeGoods, which is currently only in the U.S. market, was launched in 1992, and as of April 29th operated 596 locations across the country. 

Last year HomeGoods opened new Atlanta area locations in Decatur, Snellville and Gainesville.  

A $1,500 metallic lion on sale at a local HomeGoods
I know of a few HomeGoods stores planned for metro Atlanta in the coming months.  I could see at least one of these stores opening as a HomeSense, but industry contacts indicate it's unlikely that TJX would bring their new concept to Atlanta so soon.  

As of April 29th, TJX operated 109 HomeSense stores in Canada and 46 in the UK.  The 109 HomeSense stores include both standalone and "superstore" formats where it is paired with either Winners (another TJX brand) or Marshalls.  These stores operate like the T.J.Maxx/HomeGoods combo stores in the U.S. 

A recently launched HomeSense U.S. website includes the following to describe the brand.  

"home of your next discovery 

Experience a sensational new home store. Explore aisles of unexpected finds, and an ever-changing selection of famous brands and global discoveries all at genuine value.  

Part of the HomeGoods family"

In addition to the HomeSense announcement, the company also revealed that it plans to add 15 new brick and mortar locations of its Sierra Trading Post brand.  Launched in 1986 in Reno, Nevada, Sierra Trading Post is known primarily as an online retailer of outdoor apparel and recreation-related merchandise.  The company was acquired by TJX in 2012 and today operates 12 brick and mortar stores in nine states. The company did not reveal in what new markets, if any, the new Sierra Trading Post stores would open.  Like other TJX stores, most Sierra Trading Post stores are located adjacent to sibling TJX brands.  

Are you excited for the launch of the HomeSense store in America?  Have you been to a HomeSense store in Canada or Europe, if so, what was it like?  What is your favorite home store retailer?  

Please share your thoughts below.  

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do we really need any more cheap home decoration stores? Time to build more self storage facilities for personal junk.

Anonymous said...

I believe the self storage companies are investors in home goods and wayfair and over stock - the two businesses compliment each other. That said Eli that iconic antiques store in Chamblee with the great outdoor signage and outdoor antiques and such closed up! Wonder what the story was behind it all. Actually it looks like virtually all the antiques stores in the so called antique row are gone, I only see thrift stores which are not antique. There is literally a sign on the road rhat looks city sponsored that says antique row yet they are all gone. Sounds like a special report in the making?

Anonymous said...

Yay

Anonymous said...

Anon @3.22

There are still a few antique places thriving in Chamblee but a lot have closed up and been turned into bars and modern stores. The ones left will thrive as downtown Chamblee goes through its renaissance and more and more people go there for a day/evening out.