National Retailer Sets Plans for Valley Location By SHELLY GARCIA Senior Reporter A new retailer is set to move into Los Angeles with its first San Fernando Valley store slated to open in the first or second quarter of next year. A.J. Wright, a unit of The TJX Companies Inc., is rolling out in Southern California with a focus on the area’s moderate income, heavily Hispanic neighborhoods. The first A.J. Wright is slated to open in September in West Covina, with another two stores planned for the fall, in Riverside and La Puente. Next year, an A.J. Wright store will join the lineup at Paseo Sepulveda, a new shopping center under development in North Hills. Officials declined to elaborate on the number of stores planned in the L.A. area except to point out that the chain typically opens a number of stores in each of its trading areas. A.J. Wright, which launched in 1998, is modeled after TJX’s other off-price retail stores, including T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. But whereas those retailers appeal to higher income markets, selling department store brand names at prices lower than those merchants, A.J. Wright carries merchandise typically found at national discount and chain stores such as Kmart, JC Penney and Kohl’s at prices officials say are 20 percent to 70 percent less than those chains. “We want to have 1,000 stores,” said Dwight Garland, assistant vice president of marketing at A.J. Wright, which is based in Framingham, Mass. “So the growth plans are pretty extensive.” The chain currently operates about 100 stores in 17 states, mostly in the East with 35 more by year end.