Hard up fashionistas head to Marshalls: Bad news for Saks

Shoppers seem to be getting more downscale these days. Just look at the numbers reported by two retailers - The TJX Companies (TJX) and Saks (SKS). In the second quarter,TJX, the parent of discounters T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, reported a rise in both its sales and profits while Saks Fifth Avenue's parent was just the opposite - down in both sales and profits. Saks blamed its poor results on hard-up fashionistas who now prowl the racks at Marshalls instead, looking to pay $50 instead of the $300 they used to shell out to Saks for designer jeans.

At TJX, total same-store sales were $4.5 billion, up four percent over the same time last year; the combined Marshalls and T.J. Maxx sales were also up by four percent to $3.15 billion while comparable sales at the company's Homegoods chain of home furnishings were up nine percent to $413 million. Those numbers are good, even in comparison to the second quarter of 2008 when TJX had a three percent increase in sales.