Target holiday sales jump 17per cent as shoppers splurge online

Target holiday sales jump 17per cent as shoppers splurge online

Target Corp said on Wednesday its comparable sales rose 17.2per cent in November and December as its online sales more than doubled during the holiday period.

FILE PHOTO: The sign outside the Target store in Arvada
FILE PHOTO: The sign outside the Target store is seen in Arvada, Colorado January 10, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

REUTERS: Target Corp reported a 17.2per cent rise in comparable sales for the holiday season on Wednesday as its online sales more than doubled, thanks to faster deliveries and higher demand for home goods, electronics and beauty products.

A large chunk of the sales growth came from same-day deliveries and store pick-up services, areas where the Minneapolis-based retailer has been investing heavily during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deep-pocketed retailers such as Target and Walmart Inc are using the disruption brought on by the health crisis as an opportunity to gain market share from smaller brick-and-mortar rivals struggling to survive the impact of the pandemic.

Target in December sold 150 million items through services that allow customers to collect their online purchases from stores, almost four times more than the same period a year earlier.

The sales surge came as retailers spread out their holiday season promotions to prevent crowding at stores, instead of focusing on a few specific days.

In a blog post, Target said on Wednesday it would keep its nearly 1,900 U.S. stores closed on Thanksgiving this year, repeating the measure it had taken in 2020.

"It is even less likely retailers will return to the big sales bonanza of Thanksgiving and Black Friday even when the pandemic is over," said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail.

Target said sales trends in January has been strong. Analysts on average expect its fourth-quarter comparable sales, which includes January, to rise 12.7per cent.

However, analysts at Gordon Haskett said the retailer had likely missed the more optimistic expectations of 18per cent-19per cent growth, which is closer to what Target had seen in the third quarter.

Shares of the company, which have gained about 60per cent over the last 12 months, fell 1per cent in early trading.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

Source: Reuters

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