The TJX Companies, Inc. is the leading off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions in the U.S. and worldwide, ranking No. 115 in the most recent Fortune 500 listings. With nearly $26 billion in revenues in 2012, more than 3,000 stores in six countries and approximately 179,000 Associates, we see ourselves as a global, off-price value retailer. TJX operates four major divisions: The Marmaxx Group (T.J. Maxx and Marshalls) and HomeGoods in the U.S.; TJX Canada (Winners, HomeSense and Marshalls); and TJX Europe (T.K. Maxx and HomeSense). In December 2012, TJX acquired Sierra Trading Post, an off-price Internet retailer.
Our off-price mission is to deliver a rapidly changing assortment of fashionable, quality, brand name and designer merchandise at prices generally 20%-60% below department and specialty store regular prices, every day. With our value proposition and exciting treasure-hunt shopping experience, we believe that our demographic reach is among the widest in retail as we attract a broad range of fashion and value conscious customers across many income levels and other demographic groups.
In our 36-year history, we have delivered steady sales and earnings growth, some of the highest returns on investment in retail, and have seen only one year with an annual comparable store sales decline. We believe that we operate one of the most flexible business models in the world and year after year, our great flexibility, particularly for a company of our size, has enabled us to succeed through various economic and business cycles. Our stores have no walls between departments, which enables us to quickly expand and contract merchandise categories to respond to market trends and customers' changing tastes. Our inventories turn rapidly, which allows us to buy close to need, with greater visibility into current fashion and pricing trends. This, in turn, helps create continuous freshness in our stores, which can drive higher merchandise margins. We source merchandise globally from over 16,000 vendors in more than 60 countries and operate more like a "sourcing machine" than most retailers. Further, our financial strength gives us the strong foundation and flexibility to grow our business and simultaneously return value to shareholders. These are some of the key factors that give us great confidence in our continued ability to increase sales and profitability as we grow globally.