Discounter TJX Cos. is shuttering its A.J. Wright chain after more than a decade, a move that is expected to result in 4,400 job losses nationwide.
The discount merchant said today it plans to convert 91 A.J. Wright shops into T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, or Home Goods stores, and the company will close the remaining 71 shops, including 10 in Massachusetts, and eliminate two distribution centers. The 162-store A.J. Wright chain focuses on apparel and home fashions.
Commenting on the job losses, TJX said the employees will be paid through the holidays and that it will try to help them fine jobs at other nearby stores in TJX chains. TJX added that it will seek to provide employees losing their jobs with "enhanced severance and other assistance."
Interesting comment on market philosophy
When TJX launched A.J. Wright, it saw urban blue-collar women as one potential target audience for the new chain. T.J. Maxx, in contrast, tended to court a more upscale customer.
One initial challenge for A.J. Wright was that many blue-collar urban women relied heavily on circulars, coupons, and one-day sales. With its every-day low prices, TJX and A.J. Wright eschewed that philosophy.
Early ads for A.J. Wright featured such statements as, "We'll hurl ourselves off a cliff before we have a one-day sale," and "No way in this lifetime will we have an anniversary sale."