secret to the strategic success

duplicate, imitate, undermine, and replicate. However, recent research by Fortune reveals that
“excellent inventory control” is a secret to the strategic success of tJX, including the fol-lowing practices:
1. turn inventory over quickly. according to Morningstar, tJX turns over inventory every 55 days, versus
85 days for its peer group. tJX is structured to buy quickly and sell merchandise. the com-pany shipped
about 2 billion units to its stores in its 2014 fiscal year (which ended on February 1), up from 1.6 billion
in fiscal 2010. oftentimes, merchandise is sold before tJX has paid its vendors. Quick inventory turnover
keeps new merchandise on the floor so customers rarely see the same items on repeat visits. tJX trains
employees to “buy when you see it; otherwise it will be gone.”
2. Provide “value, trendy merchandise,” not “cheap, leftover merchandise.” 3. Promote the “treasure
hunt” experience rather than catering to lower-income customers. even high-income customers love the
treasure hunt experience in tJX stores.
4. train buyers extensively and then give buyers autonomy to negotiate millions of dollars of pur-chases
from suppliers. Purchase inventory year-round, continuously rather than seasonally, and purchase as

close to the time of need as possible to negotiate a better price and be assured of the latest fashion
trend. negotiate low prices for purchases even if it means oftentimes purchasing “all available items in a
category.”
Despite performing considerably better than it rival firms, tJX faces heightened competition in
the off-price retail industry. For example, nordstrom (JWn) is rapidly expanding its rack stores, opening
27 off-price new stores in 2016. Macy’s (M) opened four pilot off-price stores in fall 2015, and neiman
Marcus, Saks, and ross Stores (roSt) are boosting their presence in off-price retailing.

Q1 – What are 2 advantages and 2 disadvantages of keeping the strategic-planning process
secret vs. placing the firm’s strategic plan on the corporate website and discussing strategies
and planning publically? (4 marks)

Q2 – What are three types of industries where secrecy is warranted and three industries where
secrecy is not warranted, or does type of industry even matter? (6 marks)

Q3 – Many colleges and universities have their strategic plan posted on their website. What are
2 advantages and 2 disadvantages of this practice? (4 marks)

Q4 – Rank order the four “secret” practices listed above in terms of how important you think the
items are to TJX’s overall success. Rank the four items from 1= most important to 4 = least
important. (4 marks)

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