Move your shopping cart, mom. TJMaxx has a new fleet of shoppers - and they're all steeped in student debt.
TJX Companies (TJX) , the parent company of off-price retailers TJMaxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, is seeing success in its efforts in courting younger shoppers, its top execs said on a second quarter earnings call Tuesday, Aug. 15.
"At all of our major divisions," said CFO Scott Goldenberg, "[the percent] of new customers has skewed toward the younger customers in the 18 to 34 age group."
And it's all thanks to digital marketing, CEO Ernie Herrman revealed.
"Our digital spend and marketing is by far the biggest increase over the last few years as we've downplayed other media spend," he said.
The retailer declined to specify what those efforts entail beyond the comments on the call, but analysts told TheStreet that the most effective means of digital marketing comes down to social media.
"It's primarily social media," said Deutsch Bank analyst Michael Baker. TJMaxx' Facebook page, for instance, boasts nearly 3 million fans.
TJX's consumers do skew younger than the overall population, whose average age is about 46, according to a tracker from equity research firm Cowen. Using the Herfindahl index, Cowen found that the average age of TJMaxx and Marshalls shoppers is about 40.
Obviously, digital isn't only synonymous with millennials, Hermann added.
"It's not just an age group situation," Herrman said. "There's a lot of us, myself included, that use [our] phones and use [our] laptops significantly more than ever in the past."
But with Millennials in particular, TJX also has the appeal of variety.
"For younger people, the personal style factor means it's appealing to walk into an off-price retailer such as TJMaxx because you can really customize you look," Cowen analyst Oliver Chen said. "I think in decades past, there was more deeper loyalty and now it's the democratization of fashion, where you dress in both high and low.
TJX saw higher-than-expected sales and profit in its earnings report Tuesday, as well as a 1.7% uptick in shares at $70.75 apiece.