Target is reporting strong in-store and online holiday sales, according to The Wall Street Journal. Those positive figures appear to have been boosted by the company’s digital initiatives and strong consumer spending in the U.S.
Economists predicted 2017 could be one of the best holiday seasons since 2011, largely because of low unemployment rates and rising wages. Target’s CEO, Brian Cornell, reported the company’s physical locations helped fulfill a plethora of online orders during the holiday shopping rush, particularly for toys like the Barbie Dreamhouse, L.O.L. Surprise! dolls, electronics, Nintendo Switch and Apple goods.
Same-store sales for locations that had been in operation for at least a year saw a 3.4 percent increase during the final two months of 2017. The same segment saw a 1.3 percent decrease in profits during the same timeframe in 2016. In premarket trading on Tuesday (Jan. 9), Target’s shares clocked in at $70, a 4.2 percent jump, following the release of the positive figures.
Target had been struggling for the last year, with stock prices down approximately 6 percent in 2017.
The holiday season was a good one for retail in general, though. Other large retailers experienced similar positive sales growth this holiday season, including Costco Wholesale Corp., Kohl’s, JCPenney and Macy’s — all of which competed with Amazon for consumers and prices during the biggest shopping season of the year.
Target struggled in the Amazon fight in 2016, but the company undertook an in-store and online overhaul to prepare itself for 2017. With investments in its supply chain, new brands available online and in stores, remodeled retail spaces, an enhanced promotional strategy, streamlined discounts and a massive restructuring of its pricing scheme, the discount retailer has proven its interest in keeping pace with the eCommerce giant. Target recently announced it would acquire Shipt Inc., a grocery delivery startup, to compete with such offerings available through Walmart and Amazon.
In 2018, Target plans to unveil new additions to its remodeling efforts and open the doors to 30 small-format stores. It has raised its expectations for comparable store sales for Q4 2017 to 3.4 percent and expects its adjusted earnings to reach $1.30 to $1.40 per share.