Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Don’t Be Fooled! Entrepreneurship Does Exist inside Big Box Retail!

Hi Entrepreneurship Gang!   I am currently working on a blog post regarding Big Company Entrepreneurship and hope to have it up and posted soon.  In the meantime, I wanted to highlight a terrific example of Corporate Entrepreneurship featured in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal – All Caught Up in TJ Maxx’s Web.

The TJX Companies – parent company of big box, off-price retail chains TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods (as well as businesses in Europe and Canada) – is a true example of a big company that has built and maintained an entrepreneurial culture, despite its tremendous growth and global reach. Boasting $26 billion in sales and 3,000 stores in 6 countries, it has integrated innovation throughout its business, cultivating and rewarding entrepreneurial thought and action.  As a former TJXer myself, I can personally attest to the spirit of smart innovation and entrepreneurship that permeates its corporate offices, distribution centers, stores, vendor relationships, customer interface, and much, much more!

Recognizing the opportunity that ecommerce presents in the retail industry (and of course weighing the risks; TJX retreated on its first ecommerce attTJX chartempt in 2004), the company purchased off-price Internet Retailer Sierra Trading Post last year to learn the ecommerce game.  In the words of Jennifer Davis, Senior Retail Analyst at Lazard Capital Markets:  “Consumers like to shop all kinds of different ways. There are some people who shop online and because T.J. Maxx doesn’t have a website, that consumer might not shop at all. It’s a way to gain a new customer or an incremental sale from an existing customer.”  Recognizing opportunity, innovating, taking smart risks, embracing change, making it happen, and pivoting as needed – it’s what Entrepreneurship is all about; and it’s happening at TJX!