We are extremely proud of our connection to the Globe 100, especially as one of just four companies to earn a place on the list in each of the past 25 years. Over that quarter-century, our annual sales have grown from less than $2 billion to nearly $26 billion. In fact, we have worked hard to achieve profitable growth for more than 35 years and have a deep confidence that we will continue to grow successfully to a $40 billion company and beyond. The three major aspects of TJX that I believe have contributed the most to our success are a commitment to value, a strong culture, and attention to the execution of our business.
Delivering value to our customers every day is what drives us. We define value as the combination of fashion, quality, brand, AND price. Value is not just about price — it has to be the right product, delivered at the right time, with all of the elements that make up our value equation. That is what our customers deserve. Consumers are very smart and we have enormous respect for them. They know value when they see it and it is our job to deliver an exciting mix of product every day. Our view of value goes far beyond our customers to include our associates, our communities, and our shareholders. We even named our corporate social responsibility program V.A.L.U.E., with each letter representing a tenet of our program.
Our culture is based on two core elements: acting with integrity and caring. We have always held integrity at the center of what we do. Honesty, openness, and teaching are the hallmarks of the TJX culture; they always have been, and they must continue to be for our success to be meaningful. We care deeply about our associates and do our best to offer an environment that allows for a work-life balance. We care that people treat one another with dignity. We see ourselves as teachers and try to help people swim, not sink, throughout the phases of their careers. We are focused on passing the culture of TJX to the next generation of leaders. We also ask our associates to care — about each other, about their jobs, and, yes, about the company. It has to be a two-way street.
Our off-price business model, while greatly flexible, takes relentless attention to execute well. Our buyers are in rapidly changing marketplaces, reading and reacting to market and fashion trends. Hundreds of thousands of units move through our system every day, to over 3,000 stores in six countries. We are constantly asked about how various macro environments affect our business. Our answer is always the same: If we execute, we can succeed in just about any economic or retail environment. If we fail, we tend to look inward and work hard to execute better. One of the things I love the most about our company is that we learn from our mistakes and move on. I’m truly proud and privileged to lead TJX.