Strong sales drive store opening plan at TK Maxx

Sales at discount giant TK Maxx have soared this spring as the chain looks to nearly treble its store base in the UK and Ireland.

The 125-store chain, owned by US-based TJX Companies, increased sales in the UK by 37 per cent to£109.5 million in the three months to April 26. Like-for-like sales increased 8 per cent.

TJX president and chief executive Edmond English said he believed the chain could expand to between 300 and 350 UK and Irish stores, compared to previously reported targets of 250. English hopes to open 30 stores this financial year.

Sales have been boosted by its strategy of introducing mezzanine floors into out-of-town locations, as well as new stores. He said: 'We see lots of opportunity for the chain. We are excited by the success of our mezzanine floors in our UK out-of-town stores, which give us more square footage at limited incremental cost.'

English said comparable store sales and divisional profits were ahead of company expectations.

According to accounts filed at Companies House for the year to January 25, 2003, UK managing director Paul Sweetenham was paid£208,400 last year, with a total package of£287,000.

The accounts also show UK sales in line with those announced by TJX Companies in March. Sales of£456.5 million were reported, with pre-tax profits of£20.7 million.

Comparable store sales in the year rose 5 per cent, following an identical increase in the previous year. Comparable stores on a group basis decreased by 2 per cent and overall sales grew 7 per cent.