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Off-Price Apparel Chains After Q1 2024: Demographics in the Balance

Ezra Carmel
May 15, 2024
Off-Price Apparel Chains After Q1 2024: Demographics in the Balance

Off-price apparel chains continue to drive traffic in 2024. We dove into the latest location analytics for four of the largest brands – T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Ross Dress for Less, and Burlington – to take a closer look at these retailers’ foot traffic growth and evolving visitor bases. 

Key Takeaways

  • Off-price apparel chains – T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Ross Dress for Less, and Burlington – continue to outperform traditional apparel retailers in year-over-year (YoY) visits – likely due to fleet expansions and consumers’ ongoing focus on value. 
  • While T.J. Maxx and Marshalls see success by serving more singles, Ross Dress for Less’ visit increases seem to come from households with children – and Burlington has experienced visit growth by appealing to both segments.

Nothing Off With Off-Price: YoY Growth Continues

The off-price sector started off 2024 strong, with the four off-price leaders – T.J. Maxx, Marshalls (both owned by TJX Companies), Ross Dress for Less, and Burlington – consistently outperforming the wider non-off-price apparel segment. YoY visits to the four brands were also mostly positive for the period analyzed, in part thanks to the companiesongoing expansions.

Chains Take Their Pick of Singles and Family Visitors

Diving into the demographic composition of the four chains’ trade areas reveals that there are many formulas for success in the off-price space. And while some companies have found success by attracting families looking to stretch their budgets, others are growing their visits by drawing singles looking to stock up on the latest styles without breaking the bank. 

T.J. Maxx and Marshalls – where YoY Q1 2024 visits grew 8.9% and 7.9%, respectively – both have relatively large shares of one-person households in their trade areas. Members of these one-person households are typically younger – often belonging to the coveted Gen-Z demographic – and TJX C.E.O. Ernie Herrman has emphasized the company’s success among this audience segment as an important growth driver.

Meanwhile, the 1.1% YoY increase in overall visits for Ross Dress for Less in Q1 2024 seems driven by the chain’s popularity among families – 28.4% of the chain’s captured market consists of households with children. And Burlington achieved its Q1 7.6% YoY visit growth by appealing to both demographics. 

It seems, then, that each off-price leader has found a different formula for success by catering to a unique demographic mix.

Sign Off(-Price)

Over the last several months, off-price apparel chains have outperformed traditional apparel retailers in YoY visits as they expand their real estate footprints. Taking on new territory, off-price retailers drive visits from a unique mix of households with children and singles.

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