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Retail Industry Updates

On the Money: Target Has Monster Third Quarter


One day after Walmart reported a strong third quarter, Target weighed in with third-quarter results even better than its Bentonville, Ark.-based retail rival.

Minneapolis-based Target reported that its third quarter comparable sales grew an astounding 20.7% (Walmart reported a stellar 6.4%) when compared to the previous third quarter, and the retailer said its average ticket grew 15.5%. Clearly, consumers are purchasing items for many of their needs at Target.

“Our strong results reflect the benefits of our multi-year effort to build a durable and flexible model, with a differentiated assortment and a suite of industry-leading fulfillment options — all brought to life through the passion and effort of our team,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target, in a statement. “As a result, we’ve seen a deepening level of engagement and trust from our guests. The result is unprecedented market share gains and historically strong sales growth, both in our stores and our digital channels.”

Target’s digital comparable sales grew 155% when compared to the third quarter last year, accounting for 10.9 percentage points of Target’s comparable sales growth. Same-day services (order pickup, drive up and Shipt) grew 217%.

Target’s total revenue of $22.6 billion grew 21.3% compared with last year. Operating income was $1.9 billion in the third quarter, up 93.1 percent from $1.0 billion in 2019’s third quarter.

Throughout the third quarter, Target said it continued to gain market share across all five of its core merchandising categories. Year to date, the company said it has gained more than $6 billion in market share.

“In preparation for the holiday season, we focused first on the safety of our guests and our team, making changes to eliminate crowds while enhancing our fast-growing, contactless options like in-store pickup, drive up and Shipt,” Cornell added. “In a holiday season that will feel different for our guests, we’re committed to helping them navigate the season safely, as they find new ways to celebrate with family and friends.”