T.J. Maxx and Marshalls Are Under Fire for Selling These Recalled Products to Shoppers
The CPSC just came to an expensive agreement with the retail giant.
T.J. Maxx and Marshalls are treasure troves for unique finds and brand-name clothing sold at a fraction of the price. Loyal shoppers at T.J. Maxx have even dubbed themselves "Maxxinistas" and head to these stores on a weekly basis to score the latest and greatest deals. But both T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, which are owned by Massachusetts-based TJX Companies, are now facing backlash for selling recalled products to their devout customer base. Read on to find out which products shouldn't have gone home with shoppers, and what price the retailers are now paying.
READ THIS NEXT: Marshalls and T.J. Maxx Are Pulling These Products From Shelves.
This isn't the first recall that has landed TJX in the news.
Earlier this summer, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that TJX Companies had recalled nest swing egg chairs sold at Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods, and HomeSense stores. Affected items were sold under the brand names Martha Stewart and Tommy Bahama between Dec. 2018 and April 2022, and they posed a threat to consumers via a fall risk. According to the CPSC, TJX decided to pull the chairs after they received 27 incidents of the chairs collapsing or falling while in use, 19 of which resulted in injuries.
Chocolate products were also pulled from the shelves of these stores in the spring, as they claimed to be "dairy free," when they actually contained milk, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on May 1.
But now, TJX is facing backlash not for the recalled products pulled from shelves, but for items which the CPSC says the company "knowingly" sold to shoppers.
TJX Companies was slapped with a major fine.
On Aug. 2, the CPSC announced that TJX Companies would be paying a $13 million fine "for selling, offering for sale, and distributing" recalled products to customers between March 2014 through Oct. 2019. TJX violated federal law by selling approximately 1,200 of these products to customers, according to the announcement. The products were recalled in 21 separate "voluntary corrective actions" issued by the CPSC.
A variety of recalled products were still on shelves.
On Nov. 26, 2019, the CPSC and TJX issued a press release announcing that recalled products were still being sold at TJX brick-and-mortar retail stores, as well as online. After publishing the press release, the company learned that three additional recalled products were also sold to customers.
The 2019 announcement listed a wide variety of items, all of which you'd expect to find at your local T.J. Maxx or Marshalls, including accessories for infants, furniture, and kitchenware. A slideshow of the items shows pack n' plays, bassinets, ceramic drawer knobs, toys, chairs, portable speakers, watches, scarves, a coffee press, a beer mug, and a decorative wreath.
All products were recalled due to safety hazards, with the CPSC listing severe concerns such as infant fatalities, fire, burn, choking, fall, laceration, skin irritation, explosion, and other product-dependent injuries. However, the agency was primarily concerned with infant safety.
"The majority of the post recall sales were products recalled due to the risk of infant suffocation and death including the Kids II Rocking Sleepers, Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleepers, and Fisher-Price Inclined Sleeper Accessory for Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yards," the CPSC said in the announcement.
TJX also has to participate in a compliance program.
In addition to the staggering $13 million civil penalty TJX agreed to pay, the settlement also requires that the company enact a compliance program. According to the press release, the retail giant will establish this program to "ensure that it meets the obligation of the law and this settlement moving forward." This includes maintaining a "system of internal controls" and a process for identifying, quarantining, and eventually getting rid of products that are subject to recall, in accordance with the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA).
"TJX will also maintain internal controls designed to ensure TJX's compliance with the CPSA, requiring TJX to review claims, report safety concerns, implement corrective and preventive actions when compliance deficiencies or violations are identified, and establish senior management oversight of TJX's compliance program," the press release states.
In addition, for the next five years, TJX is required to file annual reports on its compliance program and internal controls.