Sierra Trading Post has been popular among sporty and outdoorsy people for many years. The store is owned by The TJX Cos. and has a big online and increasing physical store presence. To keep up with times and to stay relevant Sierra Trading Post has recently undergone a full rebranding and will now be known as simply Sierra.
Sierra has not given many details of what kind of changes should customers expect besides the name change, but they did promise to open 10 new stores this year. The company is clearly hoping to expand its brick-and-mortar presence.
The TJX plans to open 230 new stores for its total portfolio, increasing the number of physical stores by 5% this year. The new stores will be open in the US, Europe, and Australia. Such rapid growth is needed to fuel the expansion in all four company’s divisions. The TJX is not going to shrink its physical presence in the world because they believe in maintaining the relationships with suppliers, vendors, and customers that have been built form the ground up during the last 25 years. Such infrastructure and human factor are the two most valuable assets any company can have.
It is clearly the right direction as sales have been higher than expected for the last quarter of 2018 and the beginning of 2019. In fact, The TJX experienced 6% increase this year versus 4% increase last year from the beginning of the fiscal year to February 3rd.
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The future for the company and its divisions is looking quite bright with estimated 5-7 percent increase of diluted EPS when compared with the last year. The first quarter ESP growth is expected to be negative 7% due to increased cost of freight, wages, and foreign currency changes, but these setbacks are going to be temporary.
2019 is going to be a start of bullish growth and expansion with economic benefits in mind. The company is known as one of the most stable operators in off-price business and has experienced constant growth with little setbacks year after year. CEO Ernie Herrman is excited about the future and opportunities to serve new communities delivering consistent and time-tested model of service.
The TJX and its renewed Sierra division are very confident that customers will enjoy shopping there and will find new model even more pleasant. The company is socially responsible and focuses on customer service across the board, which helps set them apart from the competition and differentiate. Brand awareness is the key and Sierra definitely delivers here.
As long as the company is in existence, they have changed with times and trends always looking one step ahead. As many other department stores are shrinking their physical store inventory, The TJX divisions are growing to take advantage of these new market opportunities.
Sierra has a large brick-and-mortar presence with future grow, making shopping convenient for all that like that, but at the same time, its online model is also moving forward and improving to serve the category of shoppers who like to shop on their computer. Keeping up with ecommerce giants like Amazon is not taken lightly at The TJX.
Sierra Social Media News
One of the changes that Sierra is implementing is becoming more active on social media. The most recent such project is called “Cliff, Diving”. This is a joke gone viral, where the retailer mocks this extreme sport with videos of ordinary people jumping in the pool. This campaign is a perfect light message the company is sending to its customers – come in without fear and we will set you up with what you need. Sierra is catering to amateur outdoorsmen and taking away the fear of looking foolish when shopping for that first or that twentieth mountain trip. Everybody is welcome.
The video is trending on Twitter and has been watched a few hundred thousand times on YouTube. You can find this video on their website and understand why this retailer is ready to not take itself too seriously. After all, not everybody that comes into the store needs gear to complete a base jump from Mt. Everest. The store is for people who want to go skiing in New Jersey and camping in North Carolina. They have the right brands and the right selection for that. To top that, the prices will make customers happy too.
The social media campaign is giving more electronic exposure to the store, while the shift to more brick-and-mortar stores is taking place, but all that is part of the plan. Future consumers can find out about Sierra online, but they will have extra opportunities to experience the difference in store, which is hard to replicate online.
The merchandise sold at Sierra often requires trying the gear and costumes on, which is why physical store expansion is so welcome after online exposure thanks to social media campaigns like “Cliff, Dive”. Millennials are probably the largest percentage of TJ Maxx and Sierra consumers, learning about stores online and checking them out in person. Young millennials are ready to give something new a try if they hear someone talking about it, 2.5 times more likely than previous generations.
Gen Z is also socially adept and eager to interact with their favorite brands, from contacts on social media, to attending events and participating in design creations. More engagement translates into more sales.
The real effect of this and future social campaigns remains to be seen, but the start looks promising.