More Job Cuts in Retail
TJX, parent company of discount retailers T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods, announced the elimination of 4,400 jobs, effective late January 2011. They also plan to close 71 A.J. Wright stores and convert the other 91 to T.J. Maxs, HomeGoods or Marshalls outlets. The company plans to offer severance and other assistance to downsized employees.
While TJX CEO Carol Meyrowitz stated that "I believe this move makes us a much stronger company and will benefit TJX in both the near-term and long-term", I'm left wondering how strong a retailer can be if it announces downsizing during the busiest season of the year. What does it mean for the ostensibly growing economy when big box discount stores are cutting back at this time of year?
We own a small retail business and have been fighting a David and Goliath battle with big-box retailers for years. These companies have changed the shopping habits of Americans and the way we do business as a nation. The optimist in me hopes this herald's a trend toward shopping local, but the realist in me thinks it just means more retail gloom and doom.