Fashion

Calling All Bargain Shoppers: T.J. Maxx is Back Online!

8 years after crashing and burning, e-commerce is alive and kicking for the off-price retailer

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Maxxonistas rejoice! In an under-the-radar, surreptitious throwing of a switch Tuesday, Framingham, Mass. based retailer, T.J. Maxx re-opened its e-commerce website -- and suddenly all was right with the world.

Well, ok, there's still Global Warming and that pesky Syria problem but at least now we all have instant access to our favorite designer bargains 24/7.

READ: Steals & Splurges: The Ultimate Fall Shopping List

The site, Tjmaxx.com, went live without the usual press juggernaut that typically accompanies such a launch. Why?

"I'm not too surprised they didn't make an announcement," Jennifer Davis, a senior retail analyst with Lazard Capital Markets told The Boston Globe. "They want to make sure they can do it right and profitable. They want to start slow and make sure they can handle it."

That was the problem when the e-commerce store launched and failed nearly a decade ago due to lack of interest. Now, with TJX's revenue having been on the climb -- even during the recession when most other retailers are hanging on for dear life -- they felt the timing was right.

Still, getting the site into place took more than two years and wasn't an easy proposition. As The Globe reports, TJ's "Gets products for stores from more than 16,000 vendors, purchasing excess runs of designer goods and off-season fashions. It also designs in-house lines of clothing. Unlike traditional retailers that buy full clothing collections, TJX often purchases small quantities at discounted prices. As a result, inventory is a hodgepodge of products in random sizes and colors, and quantities of particular items are often limited. The task of putting T.J. Maxx's inventory online after the 2004 launch led to a time-consuming and nearly constant cycle of photographing, posting, and pulling products from its website." No small feat.

READ: Fashion Week Trend Report: What's Huge for Fall 2013

But enough about their struggles to get things up and running. The good news for us fashion forward women on shoestring budgets is that now we can peruse the racks of designer duds all we want, whenever we want. One proviso from someone who has oft times suffered an EBay hangover; exercise caution while drinking and clicking -- that $499 puce crocodile Michael Kors carry-all looks a lot better after 2-3 glasses of Merlot than it does when it shows up with the UPS guy.

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