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  • The Boston Globe OnlineBoston.com Boston Globe Online / Business / Globe 100
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    3. TJX Cos.

    By Chris Reidy, Globe Staff, 05/18/99

    "It's all about the execution," said TJX chief executive Bernard Cammarata about Framingham company's success. (Globe File Photo)
    While dot-com companies alchemize the Internet's future into stock-market gold, TJX makes money the old-fashioned way: It sells brand-name clothing and home furnishings at prices lower than those found at many department stores.

    There's nothing sexy or secretive about the success of the Framingham retailer that founded the T.J. Maxx chain.

    ''It's all about the execution,'' said Bernard Cammarata, TJX's chief executive and an old-school practitioner of the maxim that ''Retail is details.''

    In 1995, TJX acquired T.J. Maxx's largest rival, Marshalls, and kept the chains separate so consumers would shop both.

    Some acquisitions are painful, but the Marshalls purchase has exceeded all expectations.

    Four years later, the momentum of that deal still propels TJX and gives it greater buying power.

    ''They're unbelievable,'' said PaineWebber analyst Richard E. Jaffe about TJX. ''Marshalls was a great acquisition.''

    At a time when consumers seem obsessed with brand names and value - providing TJX with a super one-two punch - the company has seen income from continuing operations grow over the past three years from $214 million to $307 million to $433 million.

    Meanwhile, 1998 sales rose 9 percent to $7.95 billion.

    Since buying Marshalls, TJX has sold businesses that did not neatly fit its business plan. Now all chains, from HomeGoods to the new A.J. Wright, share similar systems and merchandising strategies; that results in all sorts of savings and synergies.

    TJX has also successfully applied its off-price formula in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

    The first TJX stores are up and running in the Netherlands, and while early results are not as strong as hoped, TJX is confident that big gains will soon be enjoyed in continental Europe as T.J. Maxx and Marshalls keep rolling in the United States.

    This story ran on page D7 of the Boston Globe on 05/18/99.
    © Copyright 1999 Globe Newspaper Company.

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