The anticipated move of the HomeGoods off-price home décor chain into eCommerce finally happened on Tuesday (Sept. 28), completing the belated digital shift of TJX Companies, Inc.
Until now, HomeGoods.com only offered online shoppers the opportunity to purchase gift cards on the site. First revealing digital plans for HomeGoods when reporting fiscal Q3 2021 results last November, TJX President and CEO Ernie Herrman said eCommerce will “leverage our strength in the home category and capitalize on our market share growth opportunities.”
While TJX provided no specifics on payments technology or related partnerships in Tuesday’s announcement, bringing full-bore online sales to the HomeGoods brand leverages two overlapping pandemic-era trends: shopping from home while remodeling those homes.
Balancing Online vs. In-Store
In announcing the news, TJX Digital US President Mark DeOliveira said that the addition of eCommerce “will provide a complementary experience to our stores, allowing shoppers to pair in-store purchases with online finds to bring their vision to life.”
HomeGoods operates 820 retail locations in the U.S., all of which were shuttered during the 2020 lockdowns. Unlike competitors, HomeGoods took a slower road to online sales.
In June 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported that “the discount chain isn’t looking to quickly ramp up eCommerce beyond its minuscule level or add new features allowing American customers to buy products online and pick them up in stores,” and adding that “[parent] TJX Cos., which also owns Marshalls, HomeGoods and other discount chains, is as focused as ever on drawing shoppers to its more than 4,500 stores worldwide, betting consumers are desperate to roam the aisles after months of being stuck at home. As of June 17 , about 85% of TJX stores had reopened.”
See also: HomeGoods Debuts eCommerce Capabilities
More to Come from HomeGoods eCommerce Debut
Occupying a unique niche in the home décor category, the merchandise mix in HomeGoods’ stores changes frequently, and has been both praised and panned for the “treasure hunt” vibe of a typical trip to a HomeGoods location.
While the uniquely spontaneous, transitory and limited nature of its inventory has always appealed to bargain hunters and browsers, it has also made managing a website challenging, as items come in and out of stock rapidly and often on a store-by-store basis.
As for the new site itself, HomeGoods is touting a curated selection of six key categories, including seasonal, decor and pillows, bed and bath, kitchen, pets and discover Europe. The core six segments appear beneath a “Click, Love, Save Big” banner that also urges shoppers to visit their local store to find additional offline deals.
During a quarterly earnings call with analysts in August, Herrman said of HomeGoods’ then-pending eCommerce transformation, “We believe this is something our existing customers have been waiting for, and is another way for us to attract new shoppers.”
The announcement itself teased that “HomeGoods plans to continue to expand its online store, beginning with a collection of gifts and festive décor just in time for the holiday season,” and promises “new finds to be added regularly.”
Regarding the potential for creating more electricity around the introduction of HomeGoods eCommerce capabilities are possibilities involving the TJX Rewards® credit card and TJX Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®, although there were no such details as of this writing.