|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2010)|
|Headquarters||Framingham, Massachusetts, United States|
|Number of locations||973 (November 2012)|
|Products||Clothing, footwear, bedding and domestics, furniture and giftware|
T.J.Maxx, sometimes referred to as TJ's, is an American department store chain. With more than 1,000 stores, T.J.Maxx is a major clothes retailer in the United States. Under the name T.K. Maxx, it operates stores throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and Poland. At the end of 2012, there were 343 stores in Europe.
The company is part of the TJX Companies, which also owns HomeGoods/HomeSense, and 'off-price' retail chains Sierra Trading Post in the United States, Marshalls in the U.S. and Canada, and Winners in Canada. It offers men's, women's and children's apparel and shoes, as well as other areas such as toys, bath and beauty, accessories and home products ranging from furniture to kitchen utensils.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (March 2009)|
In 1976, T.J.Maxx was founded in Framingham, MA, as a nameplate of the Zayre chain of discount department stores. When Zayre sold their own nameplate to Ames, a rival discount department store, Zayre was renamed as "TJX Companies, Incorporated".
The first European store opened in Bristol in 1994. The company modified the name to T.K. Maxx to avoid "confusion with the established British retail chain TJ Hughes (which is not affiliated with TJX)".
In 2003, T.K. Maxx became locked in a dispute over its plans to open a store at Piccadilly Circus, London. It had signed an agreement in February 2009 to occupy a 20,000-square-foot (1,858 m2) unit, formerly used by Virgin Megastores and later Zavvi, with a £1.55 million a year rent. The freehold to the land is owned by the Crown Estate which had the final decision over allowing the company to move into the unit. The Crown Estate rejected the plans, saying that it did not fit in with the strategy it had for the site which was meant to give the area an upmarket appeal. The decision was met with condemnation from publicist Max Clifford who launched a campaign in conjunction with Look magazine to persuade the Crown Estate to allow the store to open in the unit. T.K. Maxx went to court to appeal against the decision but failed, as Dutch retailer The Sting has now taken the building as their first UK store.
In 2007, T.K. Maxx began a slowing down of new store openings within the UK. Focus was given to revamping older inner city stores or relocating them. This decision led to the creation of the Maxx Maxx concept, a new department store format that saw T.K. Maxx get away from its budget reputation into a large store format with a wider product range.
The first store in Germany opened on 4 October 2007 in Lübeck. The chain hopes that this will be more successful than the company's earlier attempt at opening stores in the Netherlands between 1999 and 2001.
As from early 2011, UK stores stopped charging for carrier bags, as the public reaction to charging was the number one customer services complaint. This has since changed however, as a carrier bag levy has been introduced in Northern Ireland and Wales.
T.K. Maxx on Gracechurch Street, London.
Interior of TK Maxx on Gracechurch Street, London.
A typical T.J.Maxx store in Torrance, CA.
2007 credit card fraud
In March 2007, the company was at the centre of major credit card fraud which affected its international operations. Details of customers' credit cards and debit cards were accessed by computer hackers, exposing 45.7 million customers to potential theft from their accounts. According to the company this affected customers who used their card between January 2003 and June 2004 at any branch of T.K. Maxx. Details were stolen by hackers installing software via wi-fi in June 2005 that allowed them to access personal information on customers. The breach continued until January 2007.
Eleven people from around the world were charged with the breach in 2008. Outside security provider Protegrity has estimated that T.K. Maxx's losses as a result of the data breach may reach £800 million in the years to come. The losses would come as a result of paying for credit checks and administrative costs for managing the fallout from the breach.
In 2007, the company disclosed a computer security breach dating back to 2005. Hackers gained access to information on more than 45 million credit and debit card accounts for transactions since January 2003.
The T.J.Maxx Corporation was sued by the Massachusetts Bankers Association and co-plaintiffs including Maine and Connecticut Associated Banks for the data theft. In March 2010, Albert Gonzalez, a computer hacker, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after confessing to stealing credit and debit card details from a number of companies, including T.J.Maxx.
Every year, T.J.Maxx supports the Save the Children campaign and each store adopts a child to help support. In 2005, they raised over $1.25 million. The “Happy Hearts” initiative launched in 2000 has raised over $4.3 million to support U.S. children and families in need.
In the UK in 2007, T.K. Maxx was an active participant of Comic Relief, having been the sole retailer of the Red Nose Day t-shirts which generated £2 million for the Comic Relief cause. In 2009, T.K. Maxx was again the sole retailer of the Red Nose Day t-shirts with exclusive designs by Stella McCartney, raising a total of £3,200,589.
In concurrence with Red Nose Day 2011, each T.K. Maxx is set a target by the company to raise, e.g. £3000. Each store tries to raise the target by staff doing tasks e.g. non-uniform day, manager job swap, bun sales, official t-shirt sales and many other ideas. Based at the Tamworth store in Staffordshire, long standing employee Peter Hodkinson is credited by raising £31,458 by completing a solo 34 hour car-washing marathon. To this day setting not only a company record for fund raising, but also holding the world record for numbers of Vauxhall Omegas cleaned in 24 hours.
T.K. Maxx also worked with the Woodland Trust by starting to charge for plastic carrier bags in August 2008 and donating the proceeds to the Trust. The proceeds have allowed the Woodland Trust to plant 30,000 new trees on a 15 acres (60,703 m2) site near Elmstead Market, Essex. The usage of carrier bags from T.K. Maxx has reduced by 73% since the scheme was launched. Since 2004, T.K. Maxx has held a Christmas card recycling scheme in conjunction with the Trust.
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