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TJ Maxx's discount cycle revealed in data (hint: shop at the beginning of the month)

1 year ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Markets

Sales, especially those "everything must go" affairs at department stores, are classic levers to get shoppers into stores and move inventory. But what happens at stores like TJ Maxx ($NYSE:TJX) that are already built on the "always on sale" model?

Turns out that, in the case of TJ Maxx specifically, discounting is surprisingly predictable when tracked over time.

The graph below shows average discount over time for items sold at TJ Maxx.

It looks a lot like a computer-generated wave because it turns out that TJ Maxx deeply discounts its inventory at the beginning of almost every month. All of those spikes in discount signify deep average discounts across the discount chain's inventory, and they tend to occur during the first week of every month.

On a more macro scale, the deepest discounting at TJ Maxx occurs around the new year. In January 2017, for instance, discounts shot to more than 52% on the 12th of that month.

Don't go thinking that showing up on the first of the month will net you deep discounts at TJ Maxx, however. As you can see in the graph, some months don't see deep discounting, while others are skipped entirely, likely due to inventory numbers or seasonal change.

Whatever the case is, bargain hunters will want to study this graph closely, especially given the face that — if the patterns tell us anything — TJ Maxx is about to spike it discounts.

That's because this July looks an awful lot like last July. At the end of July 2017, discounting at TJ Maxx sunk to below 30% on average. But after that slump, August 1, 2017 saw average discounts nearing 50%.

So get your shop on, bargain hunters.

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Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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