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    TJX acquires Australian retailer Trade Secret

    TJX Cos. Inc. has agreed to purchase an Australian retailer, hoping to kick off a new expansion in the land down under.

    By the end of 2015, the Framingham-based company will acquire Trade Secret for $58.5 million.

    “We are excited about the anticipated addition of Trade Secret to the TJX family of companies and expanding to another continent, which underscores the strength of our international growth opportunities,” Carol Meyrowitz, chairman and CEO of TJX Companies said in a press release. “We view Trade Secret as a good fit with our own corporate culture and are looking forward to growing this business for the future.”

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    TJX, the parent company to T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, has made few acquisitions in the past decade although it has been growing steadily throughout that time. The major US retailer hopes to develop a market in Australia through this purchase, similar to its Canadian entrance with the acquisition of the retailer Winners in 1990.

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    TJX operates 3,441 stores in seven countries worldwide, including the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Poland, and Austria.

    Trade Secret currently operates 35 stores, mostly in the eastern part of Australia, selling brand items like apparel, footwear, accessories, and home goods.

    In Wednesday morning trading, TJX stock was up 71 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $68.57.

    Karishma Mehrotra can be reached at karishma.mehrotra@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @missmishma.