Bloomberg-- TJX Cos., owner of the Marshalls and TJ Maxx chains, jumped in early trading after posting sales that far outpaced Wall Street estimates.

Comparable stores sales -- a key metric for retailers -- grew by six per cent last quarter, the company said Wednesday. That was almost double the 3.2 per cent growth analysts had predicted, according to Consensus Metrix.

The results show that off-price retailers like TJX are faring better than traditional department and apparel stores at a time when consumer buying habits shift toward online purchases and more experience-based shopping.

“We saw strength across the company, with each major division delivering comp sales growth of four per cent or higher,” Chief Executive Officer Ernie Herrman said in a statement. He said that growth was driven primarily by customer traffic.

Shares of TJX climbed as much as 6.4 per cent in premarket trading. The stock had dropped 2.2 per cent this year through Tuesday’s close, after advancing 36 per cent last year.

The company also reported profit and revenue that topped estimates last quarter. Its earnings forecast for the current year of US$2.77 to US$2.83 per share, however, fell short of analysts’ average US$2.86 projection.