By John Lynds
The A.J. Wright store in Liberty Plaza in East Boston has officially closed and Marshalls, one of the nation’s largest off-price retailers, will be opening in its place at the end of the month.
According to TJX officials, the Marshalls store in the popular strip mall in Central Square will open its doors on March 31. The 15,275 sq. ft. store will feature fashion, footwear and accessories and a grand opening is set for that date from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Marshalls regular store hours will be 9:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Sundays. “We are delighted to bring our newest Marshalls location to East Boston and look forward to providing our customers a great selection of brand name merchandise at great prices that are better than other retailers can offer,” said Marshalls President Michael MacMillan,
Since opening its first store more than 40 years ago, the Marshalls name has become synonymous with off-price shopping. Shoppers can find incredible savings on brand name apparel for men, women, teens and children, footwear, accessories and home merchandise, every day. The new location will also open with a Shoe MegaShop featuring brand name shoes for the whole family and The CUBE, a hip, new in-store boutique of contemporary fashions for teens.
Marshalls concept, the Shoe MegaShop, is touted as an easy-to-shop shoe store. The shop features approximately 5,000 square feet of footwear within the new Eastie Marshalls.
“Our exciting new Marshalls Shoe MegaShop offers thousands of brand name shoes for men, women and children, with new styles arriving several times each week. Just pick out your favorite style, and look for your size in the boxes under the display,” said Marshalls Spokesperson, Laura McDowell.
McDowell added that Marshalls new high-energy in-store boutique, The CUBE, has a stylish look and feel, with a color scheme, music and lighting unique from the rest of the store.
“The boutique-inspired department allows young women to easily shop for fashion-forward, brand name clothes and accessories at amazing prices,” she said. “The CUBE is organized by style rather than size, with coordinating accessories nearby, so shoppers can create a stylish, head-to-toe outfit more easily.”
Over the years Marshalls has become one of the nation’s leading off-price family retailers with more than 820 stores spanning 42 states and Puerto Rico. With the addition of the new Eastie store, Marshalls will operate 54 stores in the Boston market.
Last month TJX, the nationwide retailer that owns Marshalls, T.J. Maxx and Home Goods, announced that it would consolidate its A.J. Wright division by converting 91 A.J. Wright stores into Marshalls, T.J. Maxx or HomeGoods stores and by closing the remaining 71 A.J. Wright stores.
TJX top brass felt a Marshalls at Liberty Plaza would be the best fit for consumers here in Eastie.
The phasing out of A.J. Wright stores is expected to improve the overall profitability of the company, and will allow TJX to focus its managerial and financial resources on its larger, more profitable businesses, all of which have major growth potential, as well as to serve the A.J. Wright customer more efficiently. This action significantly increases the company’s estimates of the growth potential for Marshalls and T.J. Maxx.
“While I believe this move makes us a much stronger company and will benefit TJX in both the near-term and long-term, it was not an easy decision as many positions will be eliminated and it will be difficult for our affected Associates,” said Carol Meyrowitz, President and Chief Executive Officer of The TJX. “As a company, however, it will allow us to focus our financial and managerial resources on our highest return businesses, all of which have significant growth opportunities, as well as to significantly improve the economic prospects of our business.”
Meyrowitz said a critical factor in this decision is that, over the past two years, TJX has learned how to serve the A.J. Wright customer with its Marshalls and T.J. Maxx banners and have seen very strong performance from these stores in demographic markets similar to those in which the company has A.J. Wright stores.