Off-price retailer HomeGoods has shut down its online store just two years after expanding into the eCommerce realm.
The company’s online store offered a variety of bath, bedding, and kitchenware products, as well as pet care items and seasonal home decor pieces — much like its physical stores. Its online experience was designed to serve a complimentary experience to its physical locations, giving shoppers the ability to “pair in-store purchases with online finds to bring their vision to life.”
Unfortunately, the TJX-owned brand’s online store failed to gain traction with shoppers, with eCommerce sales continuing to represent a minuscule share of its net sales.
“Our HomeGoods e-commerce site, homegoods.com, represented less than 1% of HomeGoods net sales for fiscal 2023 and fiscal 2022 and did not have a significant impact on year-over-year segment margin comparisons,” the company noted in its March 2023 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Why checking out of eCommerce makes sense
Customers revel in the thrill of discovery as they explore the well-curated aisles, brimming with a diverse and ever-changing selection of products at stores like HomeGoods.
Unlike online shopping, the in-store environment offers a serendipitous experience, which is challenging to replicate in the digital realm.
With that in mind, HomeGoods caters to customers who value physically interacting with products before making a purchase — whether it is the texture of a rug, the comfort of a chair, or the quality of a decorative item, the ability to touch, feel, and examine items cannot be overstated. In other words, the tactile experience provided in HomeGoods stores is a significant draw — a feature that an online platform cannot replicate.
In-store shopping also offers an immediate sense of gratification.
Shoppers can select their desired items and take them home the same day. This instant gratification is particularly appealing when compared to online shopping, which often involves waiting for delivery.
Furthermore, HomeGoods is synonymous with discount shopping and the thrill of finding hidden gems at a reduced price. The in-store experience allows customers to embark on a treasure hunt, uncovering one-of-a-kind items and unbeatable deals. Online platforms lack this element of surprise and discovery.
With the shuttering of its eCommerce store, HomeGoods plans to focus back on its 900 physical store locations across the country, a company spokesperson said.
In its Q2 earnings report, TJX reported net sales of nearly $2 billion from its HomeGoods and Homesense business, marking an 8% year-over-year increase. Meanwhile, its Q2 comps improved by 4% year-over-year after seeing a 13% decline the year before. Overall, TJX’s net sales reached $12.8 billion, an 8% increase over last year.
TJX said it plans to keep the online stores of TJMaxx, Marshalls, and Sierra operational.