UPDATE 1-TJX buys off-price online retailer in e-commerce push

Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:12pm EST

Dec 21 (Reuters) - TJX Cos Inc said it bought Sierra Trading Post, an off-price Internet retailer, for about $200 million, the latest brick-and-mortar store to try to attract customers who shop online via smartphones and tablets.

TJX, which sells designer clothing and home goods at lower prices than department stores, said it expects the acquisition of Cheyenne, Wyoming based Sierra Trading to add slightly to earnings beginning in fiscal 2014, "but that this impact will not be material to TJX's consolidated financial statements."

"We continue to plan on launching e-commerce sites for TJX brands and this acquisition adds immediate scale, capabilities and infrastructure in e-commerce, which we can leverage in that regard," Carol Meyrowitz, chief executive officer of TJX said in a statement.

The company financed the deal from its existing cash balances.

Retailers across the board are boosting their online and digital presence as they cater to an increasing number of shoppers who use tablets and smartphones to buy stuff. A glitch-free and dependable internet presence is now considered as important for sales as a good in-store experience.

TJX shares were trading down 35 cents at $42 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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