MINNEAPOLIS — Target’s sales have spiked more than 20% this month from people stocking up on food and household supplies, yet the disruption caused by the coronavirus means the retailer is putting on hold or postponing its plans for the year, Target CEO Brian Cornell said.
The Minneapolis-based company will scale back the number of remodels and new stores opened, as well as adding fresh groceries and alcohol to its pickup services.
In doing so, he said the company hopes to minimize potential disruptions at a time when employees are hustling to restock shelves, sanitize checkout lanes and fulfill a record number of Drive Up and instore pickup orders during this “unprecedented time,” Cornell said.
“We need to be disciplined about making sure our stores and supply chain can focus on serving our guests without any unnecessary distractions, knowing that we’ll need to prioritize the flow of food, medicine, and other essentials for the foreseeable future,” Cornell told reporters.
As the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded, many department stores, specialty retailers, restaurants and bars have shut down for at least two weeks. But retailers such as Target, Walmart, Costco and groceries that sell food, medicine and other essentials have remained open and have been seeing a deluge in shopping — and in some cases hoarding — that has led to frequently empty shelves of items like frozen chicken, disinfectant wipes and toilet paper.