HomeGoods, After Opening 820 Stores, Finally Launches a Website

© Bloomberg TJX Stores Ahead Of Earnings Figures

(Bloomberg) — HomeGoods Inc. has finally gone online as the ubiquitous retailer looks beyond brick-and-mortar at a time of soaring e-commerce demand.

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The discount home-decor chain began offering items including bedding, kitchen goods and seasonal products on its website Tuesday. HomeGoods said it sees the e-commerce store as a complement to its network of more than 820 physical locations.

The late launch underscores the reluctance of parent company TJX Cos., which also owns off-price retailers T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, to embrace e-commerce, preferring instead to highlight the “treasure hunt” experience for customers inside stores. Marshalls only went online in 2019, while T.J. Maxx gained a website in 2013.

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At the outset of the pandemic, TJX not only shut down its more than 4,500 stores worldwide, but also halted online operations for months. Chief Executive Officer Ernie Herrman said at the time that the retail giant would “not look to e-commerce as our major leveraging point to get us through Covid and out the other side.”

Since then, many retailers have seen online sales soar while renewed coronavirus outbreaks keep some customers away from physical stores.

TJX shares rose just 4.2% this year through Monday, trailing an 18% gain in the S&P 500 Index.

(Updates with stock performance in final paragraph.)

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