TJX is the leading off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions in the U.S. and worldwide, delivering great value on ever-changing merchandise selections at prices generally 20%-60% below department and specialty store regular prices, on comparable merchandise, every day. Our stores are located in diverse areas, from urban to rural, and both our customers and Associates are diverse in many ways. It’s important that we challenge ourselves to find new and innovative ways to improve the shopping experience so that we may best serve the diverse needs of our customers.
We know that an engaged customer visits our stores more often, and a customer who receives excellent service is likely to shop more than one of our many retail chains. We believe our efforts are paying off. In 2016, we were honored to be recognized as the Retailer of the Year by the World Retail Congress. Likewise, in 2017 and for the second year in a row, T.J. Maxx was voted Brand of the Year in the off-price retailer category by the Harris Poll, which surveyed nearly 100,000 consumers regarding more than 3,800 retail chains to measure each brands’ equity over time in three areas: familiarity, quality and purchase consideration.
We have implemented a number of “voice of the customer” initiatives, including online customer satisfaction surveys, which allow customers to tell us how they rate their shopping experience. We receive thousands of responses each month and regularly provide detailed reports to stores and store operations management to provide specific, detailed feedback regarding store performance so they may identify and resolve issues quickly – and ultimately improve their individual store performance. Having tangible input also allows us to develop clear customer experience training for store managers, team leaders and Associates.
This data has also helped us make broad improvements across our retail chains. For example, as a result of the feedback we received from T.J. Maxx and Marshalls customers, we implemented improved signs to differentiate our departments. We’ve also improved the design of our dressing rooms, added department-specific fixtures that allow us to transform product categories into small “shops” for flexible periods of time, multilingual signs that make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for and easy access to carts in the front and back of our stores. In Europe, we have implemented initiatives focused on simplifying the customer “journey” through our stores. We’ve made navigating departments easier, which, in turn, drives customer excitement. We have also created a suite of store fixtures, similar to those in the U.S., which allow agility and flexibility to showcase our product at its best.
In addition to survey data, we strive to engage and connect with our customers when they are in the store. Over the past few years, we’ve been particularly focused on improving how we interact with our customers, providing training to our store Associates on how to enhance the customer’s experience while shopping in our stores.
Each brand has a website that highlights seasonal offerings, store locations and contact information for Customer Service groups. Our brands also leverage social media channels for real-time feedback on store experiences.
Beyond brick-and-mortar stores, tjmaxx.com, sierratradingpost.com and tkmaxx.com offer customers the ability to shop online 24/7, every day of the year. We congratulate our T.J. Maxx team on having tjmaxx.com recognized as a Top 50 “favorite online retailer” by the National Retail Federation for three consecutive years, ranking #32 in 2016. The Top 50 ranking comes from a survey of nearly 7,000 consumers who were asked to write in the name of their favorite online merchant.
We are always looking for ways to enhance the “treasure hunt” shopping experience to encourage customers to shop us again and again.
We have dedicated Store Planning groups within each brand that are responsible for understanding the customer base across different geographic locations. This helps us offer our customers the products they want, when they want them. Additionally, we give our store managers the flexibility to create their own floor displays and feature locally popular items. Our model allows us the flexibility to rebalance inventory levels in key categories, which has helped enhance the treasure hunt experience that our customers love and expect when they shop us. We continue to grow our customer loyalty programs. In the U.S., we have expanded TJX Rewards beyond our credit card program to include TJX Rewards Access, with over 1 million active customers to date. It is similar to our TJX STYLE+ program in Canada, as both are a non-credit-card option that offer customers special contests and sweepstakes, early access shopping, extended return policies and tips on new arrivals (specific benefits may vary by card and by region). We also are piloting a new loyalty program in the U.K. and Ireland.
Finally, we have a number of in-store programs designed to motivate and reward individual Associates, stores and districts, as well as programs for Associates to share ideas, including thoughts on how to further improve customer experience. The overarching goal of all of our programs is to teach, model and lead teams to provide excellence in customer service so that our customers have a wonderful shopping experience across all of our retail chains.