The parent company of retailer T. J. Maxx, which has expanded its off-price apparel concept to home accessories, will open a Home- Goods store in Columbia this month.
The home fashions store will be the first in Maryland for HomeGoods Inc., a division of the TJX Cos. Inc. of Framingham, Mass., which also operates Marshalls, A. J. Wright, Winners Apparel Ltd. in Canada and T. K. Maxx in the United Kingdom. Home- Goods, which says it sells brand-name home goods at 20 percent to 60 percent off department store prices, will open Nov. 19 in a 25,000- square-foot store in Snowden Square Shopping Center.
The chain, which operates 45 stores, expects to open an undetermined number of stores in Maryland as part of a national expansion, said Debbie Weisberg, a spokeswoman.
"We are looking to aggressively expand, but I don't have a number," Weisberg said. "We will be looking to build up the markets we're opening in. We like to cluster stores."
In its past fiscal year, the chain opened 20 stores, a pace it hopes to continue, Weisberg said.
"The stores have been very well-received," she said. "The time is right for this concept."
TJX, which offers brand-name apparel at a discount at its other chains, started the HomeGoods chain in Massachusetts in 1992. HomeGoods is now in 16 states, mostly on the East Coast.
The stores sell bedding, bath products, linens, rugs, lamps, tableware, cookware, kitchen appliances, pillows and candlesticks.
"I do think it will do well here," said Sally Wallick, a retail analyst with Legg Mason Wood Walker in Baltimore. "It's doing well for TJX."
The chain says most of its customers are women ages 25 to 55 with an average household income of more than $40,000. The stores are designed as a series of 10 specialty shops under one roof, with wide aisles.
HomeGoods has evolved since its earliest days in less-than-ideal locations in former Ames stores in Massachusetts.
"It took a while for them to figure out the right formula for it," Wallick said.
"As time went by," she said, "they've added more to the stores and had success in having a fashion element. There is a lot of fashion in bed and bath, and one of the things they've done is to incorporate that in the stores."