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Consumer malaise & hot weather pep TJX sales, to dump e-com business

Oct '05
Leading off-price retailer The TJX Companies Inc reported September 2005 sales results, announced that it will exit its e-commerce business, and updated its earnings per share outlook for the second half of 2005.

Sales for the five-week period ended October 1, 2005, were $1.5 billion, up 6 percent over $1.4 billion achieved during the five-week period ended October 2, 2004. For the 35 weeks ended October 1, 2005, sales reached $10.0 billion, a 7 percent increase over last year's $9.3 billion. Consolidated comparable store sales for the five-week period ended October 1, 2005, were flat versus last year. For the 35-week, year-to-date period, consolidated comparable store sales increased 2 percent over last year.

Bernard (Ben) Cammarata, Chairman, and Acting President and Chief Executive Officer, of The TJX Companies Inc stated that September sales trends were softer than they had expected. They attribute this largely to what they believe was consumer malaise in the aftermath of the hurricanes, as well as the negative impact of unseasonably warm weather in the Northeast, Midwest and Canada on the demand for fall fashions.

Cammarata continued that there are several specific actions they are announcing today. First, they have decided to exit our e-commerce business, as it has not delivered the sales they had planned, and pre-tax operating losses are projected to be approximately $15 million for the current fiscal year.

Exiting this business will eliminate these losses going forward and allow us to better focus our energies into other areas. Second, they have developed a new strategy for Bob's Stores, which they are in the process of implementing, and have an expectation to cut its operating losses in half next year and be on a clear path to profitability.

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