Same-store sales surged 5.5% at Target during November, exceeding the company’s guidance and analysts’ expectations for a low single-digit gain. The company said the number of people shopping its stores as measured by transactions increased nearly 4%, and average transaction sizes were also up slightly, with broad-based growth throughout the store. The company is looking for December comps to increase in the low to mid single-digit range.
“Guests are responding to our compelling holiday merchandising and marketing programs, and they love our new 5% REDcard Rewards program,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target chairman, president and CEO. “We’re well-prepared for the biggest month of the year, and believe we’re on track to achieve fourth quarter sales and profitability consistent with our guidance on Nov. 17.”
An expanded assortment of food and consumables in an increasing number of stores as part of a remodeling program known as PFresh has been a boon to customer traffic, and those categories are now among the fastest growing at Target. The company said its November comparable-store sales performance was strongest in grocery, which experienced a mid-teen increase and healthcare and beauty increased in the mid-to-upper single digits. Comparable-store sales in apparel increased in the high single-digit range and were strong across all categories, with particular strength in shoes and men’s apparel. Comparable-store sales in hardlines increased in the low single-digit range, with the strongest performance in electronics and toys, and the softest performance in music, movies & books. The other area of weakness was home, which experienced a slight decline overall.