BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT:

T.J. Maxx, a 25,000-square-foot discount retail clothing and home decor store, opened its doors March 8 on Glendale Avenue in the hopes of attracting patrons who are looking to buy but are trying to save during the nationwide recession, officials said.

The new retail store joined two other discount retail stores, including Ross and Nordstrom Rack, that sell high-end goods and clothing at marked-down prices in the Glendale Fashion Center on the 200 block of Glendale Avenue.

Financial stability allowed T.J. Maxx company executives to move forward with the store's opening despite the economic downturn, said Annmarie Farretta, manager of corporate communications.

“Our business is based on offering excellent value to our customers every day,” she said. “T.J. Maxx has one of the most flexible business models in the world as well as a very strong financial position. These factors lie at the root of our ability to weather challenging times today, as they have in past recessions.”

TJX Companies Inc., which owns the retail store, reported gains for its 2009 fiscal year and fourth-quarter earnings, which jumped from 2% last year to 4% this year.

Seventy-five people were hired for part- and full-time positions at the new store, Farretta said.

The store's opening comes at a moment when residents are trying to cut costs and are searching for discount deals, said Judee Kendall, the Glendale Chamber of Commerce's executive director.

“I think it's a good thing,” she said. “People tend to look for that now.”

The addition of the store with the other discount retailers in the fashion center creates a place where residents know they can go to get clothing and home decor for reduced prices, Kendall said.

“It's a little higher-end, but they are still getting a discount,” she said of the new store.

The store's prices were still too high for resident Benerdette Mecha.

She walked through the store aisles and looked through the racks of clothing, but didn't buy anything, she said.

“Most of the things are nice, but I can't afford it,” Mecha said.

She wished that some of the items were cheaper, she said.

Though Mecha didn't purchase items, she said she thinks people will shop at the store because it offers lower prices than higher-end stores.

Before the store opened, the center was desolate and not many people were buying clothing items from Vigen Mansuryan's kiosk, where he sells handbags, scarves, wallets and sunglasses.

“It was really bad,” he said.

But since the store opened, his business has jumped.

“In the last week, we are getting more people,” Mansuryan said.

He is hoping that the patrons keep going to the store and that the hype of the opening doesn't fade.

“I hope it will be better later,” he said.


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