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FRAMINGHAM, MA-TJX Cos. may become an increasingly urban retailer, as it looks to take advantage of the current downturn to enter more densely populated areas, executives said at the company’s fourth quarter conference call.

In the US, plans call for a net of 17 new Marmaxx (Marshalls and T.J. Maxx) units, four net HomeGoods stores, 13 net new A. J. Wright stores in 2009 (including a market debut in Atlanta), and one or two Marshalls Shoe Mega Shops. The company will open a net of 13 new stores in Canada, eight stores in the United Kingdom and 10 stores in Germany. Last year, TJX added a net 123 stores in its various formats worldwide.

“One of the biggest opportunities for us is places like New York City and densely populated High Streets like in the U.K.,” said Carol Meyrowitz, president and CEO. “These were places that were very difficult for us to enter, and this may be our time.”

The current consolidation among retailers also may cause the company to rethink the potential of its Marmaxx (Marshall’s and TJ Maxx) units.

“We have always given Marmaxx a range,” Meyrowitz said. “Our comfort ability is still 1,800 and we range from about 1,800 to 2,200. [But] with less stores out there in the future, we don’t know what that number is.”

For the 14-week fourth quarter, net sales were $5.4 billion, flat with last year. Consolidated comparable store sales on a constant currency and 13-week basis decreased 2%. Net income was $251 million, compared with $301.1 million the previous year.

Net sales for the 53-week fiscal year were $19 billion, a 4% increase over the prior year. Consolidated comparable store sales on a constant currency and 52-week basis increased 1%. Net income s for the 53-week fiscal year was $881 million, compared with $772 million the previous year.

The TJX Companies operates 874 T.J. Maxx, 806 Marshalls, 318 HomeGoods, and 135 A.J. Wright stores in the United States. In Canada, the Company operates 200 Winners, 75 HomeSense, and 2 STYLESENSE stores, and in Europe, 235 T.K. Maxx and 7 HomeSense stores.

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