Target gains steam heading into crucial holiday season

NEW YORK (AP) — Target is the latest big United States (US) retailer to show that it is prospering during the pandemic.

The Minneapolis company reported yesterday that its online sales surged 155 per cent in the three months that ended October 31. Sales at its stores opened for a least a year rose 10 per cent. Customer traffic rose 4.5 per cent and average dollars spent rose nearly 16 per cent.

It joined Walmart and Home Depot in reporting strong sales for the retailers’ fiscal third quarter.

The strong sales bodes well for the holiday shopping season, while offering the latest evidence of a widening gap between the discounters and big box stores and mall-based retailers.

Department store Kohl’s reported on Tuesday that its quarterly sales dropped 13 per cent.

Target said it earned USD1.01 billion, or USD2.01 per share, for the quarter. That compares with USD714 million, or USD1.39 per share in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings per share was USD2.79.

Analysts expected USD1.60 per share on USD20.79 billion in sales, according by FactSet. Its total sales rose 21.3 per cent to USD22.34 billion.

Target also said it gained more than USD6 billion more in market share so far this year.

Consumer electronics enjoyed more than a 50 per cent sales gain in the quarter, while Target’s home-goods business increased in the mid-20 per cent range. Clothing posted sales of nearly 10 per cent, while beauty, food and beverages increased in the high-teen percentage range.