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Off-price retailers are cashing in on consumers who are increasingly demanding more bargains.

Why it matters: The consumer is emboldened by a steady economy with a low jobless rate and spiking wages. But even with more money in their pockets, shoppers are increasingly turning to retailers that prioritize deals.

One example: TJX Companies — the parent of discount chains TJ Maxx, Home Goods and Marshalls — is drawing more customers into its stores now than in the past. Sales are growing, too.

  • The company has seen increased foot traffic for 21 straight quarters, per the latest financials released by the company on Tuesday.

Other retailers that traditionally haven't been known for deals are struggling to draw in shoppers. To fix that, they're following discounters' lead.

  • Urban Outfitters, which released quarterly results on Tuesday, blamed its profit drop on price markdowns on clothing it couldn't get customers to buy, per Barron's. It's at least the second quarter in a row the company, which also owns Anthropologie and Free People, said it had to cut pricing to entice customers to buy.
  • Kohl's, too, said it stepped up promotions to spur demand for its products.

Yes, but: This strategy isn't fool-proof. "...[M]uch of the discounting is occurring at the weaker retailers which consumers are not inspired to visit,” Neil Saunders, managing director of research firm GlobalData Retail, tells WSJ.

Of note: Analysts say off-price retailers are banking on lower-income shoppers' renewed economic confidence, who are likely to visit their stores.

  • That cohort, which has experienced the fastest pay increases, is opening up its wallets at a faster clip, according to Bank of America.

By the numbers: The report, which analyzed aggregated debit and credit card data of Bank of America cardholders, found that spending growth among consumers who make less than $50,000 a year jumped 5% year-over-year.

  • The uptick "significantly favors market share gains and customer traffic trends at value-oriented retailers," Bank of America analysts wrote.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Image: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.

3 hours ago - World

Australian PM pledges $700M for climate change-threatened Great Barrier reef

A green sea turtle is flourishing among the corals at Lady Elliot island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Friday a AU$1 billion ($703 million) investment plan for the Great Barrier Reef.

Why it matters: The nine-year plan for projects including water quality improvement, reef conservation and supporting some 64,000 tourism jobs comes months ahead of this year's federal election. It has been criticized by scientists and environmental groups for failing to tackle climate change.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.