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TJX to close A.J. Wright brand, cut 4,400 jobs

TJX to close A.J. Wright brand, cut 4,400 jobs

TJX Cos. says it is shuttering its A.J. Wright discount stores, cutting 4,400 jobs and converting some of the stores to other brands such as T.J. Maxx.
Ninety-one stores will be converted into T.J. Maxx, Marshalls or HomeGoods stores, and 71 will be closed entirely, along with two distribution centers. About 3,400 staffers will remain employed at the converted stores.
TJX said the move allows the company, based in Framingham, Massachusetts, to focus on its more profitable businesses.
All 162 A.J. Wright stores will close by mid-February. And 91 will reopen under a different name after eight weeks.
The company said it will cost $150 million to $170 million to close the stores and $12 million to $15 million for the store conversions.
TJX launched A.J. Wright in 1998 as a discount store brand similar to T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, selling clothing, home decor, shoes and other items, but it never performed quite as well as its sibling stores. T.J. Maxx and Marshalls have benefitted as shoppers hunt for bargains due to high unemployment and the uncertain economy.
During the company's most recent quarter, revenue in stores open at least one year rose 1 percent at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, rose 3 percent at HomeGoods and fell 2 percent at A.J. Wright stores.