March 3, 2021

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Target has blockbuster holiday season as sales surged 17%

Target reported a blockbuster holiday season with sales soaring as traffic grew and consumers spent more per shop often utilizing pickup and other same-day shopping options.

On Wednesday morning, Target announced its comparable sales grew 17.2% in November and December with same-store sales increasing more than 4% and comparable digital sales jumping 102%.

The numbers were a large improvement from the 2019 holiday season when Target’s comparable sales grew only 1.4% and failed to meet expectations in large part due to a weak performance in normal holiday heavyweights like electronics and toys.

Target did so well that the Minneapolis-based company decided to announce early that it will again be closed Thanksgiving after it was closed like many retailers last year as a pandemic precaution to prevent crowds.

“The momentum in our business continued in the holiday season with notable market share gains across our entire product portfolio,” said Brian Cornell, Target’s chief executive, in a statement. “We’re very pleased with our results, and the strength of our performance is a reflection of the tireless work of our team to support our guests through a safe, convenient and inspirational experience.”

Target has made gains throughout the coronavirus pandemic as consumers turned toward big box stores — and many to different types of online buying.

The recent holiday season saw a reversal of sorts from 2019 with sales growing in the low 20% range in home merchandise, which includes holiday decorations, and its “hardlines” category, which reflects surges in demand for electronics and toys. Store and digital traffic grew more than 4% and the amount customers spent on average per visit climbed more than 12%.

Sales on same-day services continued to grow dramatically by nearly 200% with “drive up” growing more than 500% and sales through home delivery done by Target-owned Shipt growing more than 300%.

On one day in December, Target employees fulfilled 6.5 million items via “drive up” and pickup, the most ever for Target in a single day.

The new numbers continue the strong sales Target has generated throughout the pandemic as consumers turn to the multi-category retailer as a one-stop shop.

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495

Twitter: @nicolenorfleet

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