T.J.Maxx Adds Debra Messing to Its 'Shecosystem'

Off-price retailer T.J. Maxx says actor Debra Messing is jumping on its women’s-empowerment campaign, “The Maxx You Project.” It hopes to expand the program, launched last year, to create what it’s calling a “shecosystem” of individualists, both online and in real life.

The Framingham, Mass.-based retailer based this year’s effort on research it commissioned, run by Serena Chen, a psychology professor at UC Berkeley. It found that 51% of women say they see themselves holding back, and filtering who they are. Conversely, individuality seems to be contagious, with 75% reporting that they are more inspired to show their true colors when they see other women do the same — either in real life or online.

When they are true to themselves, 96% say they are happier, 87% believe they are more successful and 89% say they feel less stressed.



The effort includes one-day workshops in Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta with keynote speakers, and hosted by athlete Laila Ali and blogger Mattie James.

“No two T.J.Maxx stores are the same, just like no two women are the same, which is why we offer a selection of merchandise as unique as she is," says Jillian Rugani, T.J.Maxx’s manager of marketing, in the chain’s announcement. "We're proud to continue our mission to help women, at every age and every life stage, embrace their individuality.”

While other retailers have been limping along, T.J.Maxx parent TJX is continuing its hot streak, reporting financial results above expectations. Last month, it posted a 12% jump in net sales for the first quarter to $8.7 billion, with a 3% gain in same-store sales, driven by increases in traffic. As a result, the company, which also owns Marshalls, HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post, raised its forecasts for the full year.

“We believe that the consistency of our customer traffic increases demonstrates the strength and resiliency of our business,” says CEO Ernie Herman, in its release, “and our ability to succeed through many types of economic and retail environments.”

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