The TJX Companies, Inc. announced net sales for the first quarter were $2,789 million, a 5% increase over last year. Consolidated comparable store sales decreased 2% versus last year’s strong 7% increase. Net income was $114 million and diluted earnings per share were $.22, versus $.27 in the prior year.

Edmond English, President and Chief Executive Officer of The TJX Companies, Inc. commented, “With a very strong first quarter last year and a significant Easter calendar shift, we planned this year’s first quarter conservatively. Consolidated comp store sales came in slightly below our expectations, with the unseasonably cold weather throughout the quarter in most regions of the country negatively impacting our sales performance. Our ability to take advantage of numerous in-season buying opportunities has resulted in our merchandise margins coming in stronger than plan and we have reported earnings that are near the upper end of our anticipated range. We continue to believe that once the weather turns warm, customer demand for spring and summer apparel will improve.

“At The Marmaxx Group, the combination of T. J. Maxx and Marshalls, we planned first quarter performance conservatively against an outstanding performance last year. While Marmaxx’s first quarter sales, affected by the extended unseasonably cool weather, did not meet our plan, bottom line was slightly ahead of our expectations. Comparable store sales decreased 5% versus a 7% increase last year, and segment profit was $194 million, which was below last year’s very strong performance. As previously stated, merchandise margins and bottom-line performance at this division were aided by our ability to take advantage of the very favorable buys that were available to us in the marketplace.”

English continued, “HomeGoods reported sales and segment profit that were in line with expectations. Sales increased 17%, with comparable store sales decreasing by 1% against an 11% increase last year. Segment profit increased 12%. We continue to be very enthusiastic about our HomeGoods division. New stores are doing extremely well and customers love our unique concept, which offers great values on a rapidly changing selection of exciting home fashions.

“At our Canadian divisions, Winners and HomeSense, sales were in line with our objectives and increased by 24%. Comparable store sales were flat with last year’s 10% increase in local currency. Segment profit was $12 million, which was below our expectations and slightly below the prior year. In addition to challenging comparisons to last year’s strong first quarter performance, as well as facing unseasonable weather, Winners results were negatively impacted by higher-than-planned markdowns. As we begin the second quarter, Winners is positioned well, with inventories that are fresh and well managed. At HomeSense, our young Canadian home fashions business, we continue to be excited with customer response to this concept.

“T.K. Maxx, in the U.K. and Ireland, had a strong quarter, increasing sales by 37% and posting an above-plan comparable store sales increase of 8% in local currency over a strong increase last year. Segment profit exceeded our goals and improved significantly over the prior year. We are very pleased with T.K. Maxx’s successful growth throughout the U.K. and Ireland.”

English continued, “A.J. Wright, our youngest U.S. division, achieved a 65% increase in sales and a comparable store sales gain of 6% on top of a 21% increase last year. Bottom-line performance exceeded our plan and the prior year. We are particularly pleased with the performance of A.J. Wright, given that it faced unseasonable weather and the challenge of hurdling a strong performance last year. New A.J. Wright stores are opening to great customer response and this division is rapidly gaining recognition among moderate-income shoppers.

“During the first quarter, our strong financial position allowed us to continue with our aggressive share repurchase program. We spent a total of $139 million, retiring 8.2 million shares of TJX stock.”

English concluded, “We planned the first quarter conservatively, and, for the most part, our performance came in as we had expected. Although conservatively planned, merchandise margins were better than anticipated because of the excellent buying opportunities upon which we capitalized. This improving margin bodes well for our business, and we believe that more seasonable weather will spur sales. The combination of these factors, along with the flexibility of our off-price business model, gives us confidence that we will see stronger results as the year proceeds.”

                           FINANCIAL SUMMARY
            (Dollars In Thousands Except Per Share Amounts)

                                              13 Weeks Ended
                                           April 26,      April 27,
                                              2003          2002

Net sales                               $  2,788,705   $  2,665,687

Cost of sales, including buying and
 occupancy costs                           2,113,630      1,988,830
Selling, general and administrative
 expenses                                    482,891        433,016
Interest expense, net                          6,978          6,194

Income before provision for income taxes     185,206        237,647
Provision for income taxes                    71,675         90,544

Net income                              $    113,531   $    147,103