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Digital sales gains drive growth at Target

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Overall comp-store sales increased by 20.5%

MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. reported comparable digital sales growth of 118% in the fourth quarter, accounting for two-thirds of the company’s overall comp sales growth for the period. Overall comp-store sales increased by 20.5%, while comp-store sales in physical stores grew by 6.9%, the company said on Tuesday.

Sales for the three months ended January 30 totaled nearly $28 billion, an increase of 21% over the prior-year period. Net earnings from continuing operations were $1.38 billion, an increase of 65.5% compared to the same quarter last year.

“Following years of investment to build a durable, scalable and sustainable business model, we saw record growth in 2020, as our guests turned to Target to safely provide for their families throughout the pandemic,” Target chairman and chief executive officer Brian Cornell said. “With the strength of our unique, multi-category assortment and the flexibility we offer through our reliable and convenient fulfillment options, we gained nearly $9 billion in market share in 2020, and grew our revenue by $15 billion, which is more than the 11 prior years combined. As we look ahead to 2021 and beyond, we see continued opportunity to invest in our business and our team, building on the strong foundation we’ve established to drive market share gains and deliver profitable growth for years to come.”

Target’s same-day services (Order Pick Up, Drive Up and Shipt) grew 212% in the fourth quarter, led by a more than 500% increase in Drive Up. More than 95% of Target’s fourth-quarter sales were fulfilled by its stores, the company said.

Full-year sales increased 19.8% to $92.4 billion from $77.1 billion last year, reflecting a 19.3% increase in comparable sales combined with sales from non-mature stores. Full-year revenue of $93.6 billion grew 19.8% compared with 2019, reflecting sales growth of 19.8% and an 18.2% increase in other revenue.

Full-year operating income was $6.5 billion in 2020, an increase of 40.4% from $4.7 billion last year. The full-year gross margin rate was 28.4%, compared with 28.9 percent in 2019. This rate decline reflects unfavorable category sales mix and higher supply chain and fulfillment costs from channel mix, partially offset by markdown favorability. Full-year SG&A expense rate was 19.9% in 2020, compared with 20.8% in 2019, reflecting significant leverage on fixed costs that offset investments in team member pay, benefits, and safety.




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