The TJX Companies, Inc., the leading off-price apparel and home fashions retailer in the U.S. and worldwide, was ranked 80 in the 2020 Fortune 500 company listings. At the end of 2019, the Company had nearly $42 billion in annual sales, more than 4,500 stores in nine countries, four e-commerce sites, and approximately 286,000 Associates. We operate T.J. Maxx and Marshalls (combined, Marmaxx), HomeGoods, Sierra, and Homesense, as well as tjmaxx.com, marshalls.com, and sierra.com, in the U.S.; Winners, HomeSense, and Marshalls (combined, TJX Canada) in Canada; and T.K. Maxx in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Poland, Austria, the Netherlands, and Australia, as well as Homesense in the U.K. and Ireland, and tkmaxx.com in the U.K. (combined, TJX International).
In our 43-year history, we have delivered steady sales and earnings growth through many retail and economic environments across different geographies. Historically, our strong financial returns and cash generation allowed us to simultaneously invest in the growth of the business and return cash to shareholders.
We believe that we operate one of the most flexible business models in the world. Our stores have no walls between departments, which enables us to expand and contract merchandise categories to respond to market trends and changing customer preferences. Our inventories turn rapidly, which allows us to buy close to need, with more visibility into current fashion and pricing trends. We source merchandise globally from a universe of more than 21,000 vendors and over 100 countries. Our world-class buying organization of over 1,100 Associates is constantly focused on seeking the right categories, fashions, and brands, while also testing new ideas. Historically, our flexible business model, decades of off-price experience, and global sourcing and buying power have been major advantages. We believe these characteristics of our business will continue to be our winning retail formula in the future.