Target Raises Q4 Guidance on Stronger-Than-Expected Holiday Sales

In Industry News, What's New by Lauren Parker, Accessories Magazine


Target posted same-store sales growth of 3.4 percent during the holiday season, bested Wall Street’s projection of 0 to 2 percent. This is more bright retail news against higher consumer confidence, low unemployment and increased wages.

Some highlights:

  • Comp sales grew 3.4% in the November/December period, driven by strong traffic and continued digital strength. Digital sales are expected to grow more than 25% in 2017, marking the fourth year Target’s digital business surpassed that milestone.
  • Stores fulfilled 7% of Target’s digital volume in November/December, meaning that stores enabled approximately 80% of the Company’s comparable sales growth in that period.
  • Comp sales accelerated from the third quarter in all five of the Company’s core merchandise categories: Home, Apparel, Food & Beverage, Hardlines and Essentials.
  • The Company now expects Q4 comp sales growth in a range around 3.4% and full-year 2017 comp sales growth of more than 1%.
  • Target’s total sales are expected to grow more than 9% in the fourth quarter.
  • For 2018, Target plans for a low single-digit increase in its comparable sales.

“We are very pleased with our holiday season performance, which reflects the progress we’ve made against our strategy throughout the year,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and chief executive officer of Target Corporation. “We’ve positioned our stores at the center of a continually expanding suite of convenient fulfillment options and made significant investments in our team, which enabled our stores to fulfill 70% of all digital orders in the November/December period.”

As Target looks ahead to 2018, notes Cornell, the company will be launching additional exclusive brands, enhancing its digital capabilities, opening approximately 30 small-format stores and tripling the size of our remodel program to more than 325 stores. “We will also remain focused on rapidly scaling up new fulfillment options including Same Day Delivery, which will be enabled by our acquisition of Shipt, and our recently launched Drive Up service.”