Fashionistas – those shoppers always in the hunt for bargains in T.J. Maxx ads – will soon have two city stores to troll.
Besides the new store planned for East Market in Center City, a T.J. Maxx, along with a sister HomeGoods store, will open at the Columbus Crossing Shopping Center at 1851 S. Columbus Blvd. in South Philadelphia in mid-November, according to the commercial real estate firm that negotiated both deals.
While T.J. Maxx's arrival in South Philly has been two years in the making, its opening beside a new HomeGoods was revealed this week. The HomeGoods, offering everything from home basics to furniture, joins an IKEA, Home Depot, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Raymour & Flanigan, and Old Navy in the same shopping center owned by ShopCore Properties.
It will be the first HomeGoods store in Philadelphia.
The T.J. Maxx/HomeGoods combo store will occupy 42,000 square feet of what used to be a former 60,000-square-foot SuperFresh grocery store that closed two summers ago. TJX is the parent firm for T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods.
"It's a nice retail corridor loaded with home and accessories retailers, but not a whole lot of apparel," said Metro Commercial principal Glenn Marvin on Thursday. "So having both a HomeGoods and T.J. Maxx there will draw existing and new customers" from South Philly, Center City, South Jersey, and the Philly suburbs.
"While Center City residents walk a lot to restaurants and local retail, they are still reliant on their cars to do their shopping," he said. "It's not unusual for them to get in their cars to go shopping in South Philly to the IKEA down there, especially for bigger purchases."
The Inquirer reported last week that a 22,355-square-foot T.J. Maxx store was part of the retail mix at the long-awaited East Market project, at 1100 Market St. It will occupy an entire block and is being developed by National Real Estate Development. Its office spaces and residential units could be a catalyst for the east of Broad corridor. Last weekend Mom's Organic grocer debuted at East Market.
Marvin said the Marshalls at the under-renovation Gallery Mall at Market East always performed well for TJX, which factored into the company's decision to add a T.J. Maxx across Market Street. The Ross Dress for Less at Eighth and Market Streets also does well.
"They wanted to take advantage of the growth in Center City and its residential growth," he said. "East Market was an opportunity to introduce some new concepts."
He said proximity to Jefferson Station was another plus.
Discount retailers like T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls boast of offering brand name and designer goods from clothing to bedding at discounted prices, generally 20 to 60 percent below department and specialty store prices.
"The core customers that shop Ross and T.J. Maxx know that when they see something in the store that they like, they should get or gift it because there's likely not 10 of them in their size," Marvin said. "There's that scavenger-hunt mentality to take advantage of it while you can."
Marvin said T.J. Maxx gravitated to a part of Center City that could accommodate its size, much like Target, which will open its fourth small format store in the city next month, and PetSmart with two stores in the city.
"There is a lack of large spaces on Chestnut and Walnut Streets and Rittenhouse Square," he said. "Finding 20,000 square feet is very difficult and that's why there are not that many big boxes north of Broad Street."