Target has remodeled toy
sections in more than 100 stores, including 22 in
Minnesota, to capture toy sales following the closure of
Toys ‘R’ Us.
MINNEAPOLIS — Holiday sales jumped 5.7 percent at
Target Corp. during the November-December holiday
shopping season compared to a year ago, fueling what
could be the retailer’s largest full-year sales gains
The boost came as more people hit stores and shopped
online, the retailer said Thursday, noting that the
average amount shoppers spent increased only slightly.
The company’s shares fell nearly 4 percent on premarket
Target is expected to report its fourth quarter and
year-end results in early March. The company maintained
its earlier guidance of fourth-quarter comparable sales
growth of 5 percent and full-year adjusted earnings per
share between $5.30 and $5.50.
“This performance demonstrates the benefit of placing
our stores at the center of every way we serve our
guests, including both in-store shopping and digital
fulfillment,” Target Corp. chief executive Brian Cornell
said in a statement.
For Target, it’s the second year of strong gains during
the crucial period. In 2017, Target’s November- December
sales were up 3.4 percent, giving it a healthy two-year
upswing of 9 percent.
All major categories had sales increases, but the
company highlighted gains in toys, baby products and
low-priced seasonal gifts sold at its kiosks and
But the “star of the show” was a 29 percent spike in
digital sales from mobile shopping and its website, said
Neil Saunders of GlobalData Retail in a morning note.
Minneapolis-based Target is on the final stretch of a
three-year $7 billion structural overhaul that includes
updating its technology, reformatting stores and
changing how it ships and delivers packages.
For the holidays, Target promised free, two-day shipping
with no minimum orders and doubled the number of
seasonal hires to tackle digital sales in both stores
and distribution centers.
Shoppers saved the company shipping costs by picking up
merchandise themselves on about a quarter of those
Target said its in-store pickup and drive-up services
grew about 60 percent compared to last year.