Target August Comps Surpass Estimates Though Home Advance Trails

Target Corp. has announced that its net retail sales for the four weeks ended August 25 were $5.54 billion, a gain of 4.7% over the four weeks ended August 27, 2011. Comparable-store sales increased 4.2% versus the month last year.

Published average analyst estimates called for a 3.1% comp gain. An advance in average transaction size drove three quarters of the August comp gain, Target stated in a sales call, which also got a boost from a more modest increase in comparable-store transactions.

In a second quarter sales call, Target noted that August comps gains were strongest in Food, which enjoyed a high single digit increase, and in Health & Beauty, which experienced a mid single digit boost. Apparel comps increased in line with the company average. Both Home and Hardlines experienced a low single-digit comp increase in the month.

“We’re pleased with Target’s August comparable-store sales increase, which was near the high end of our expected range,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target chairman, president and CEO. “Sales were stronger in the second half of the month, as guests responded to Target’s broad assortment and compelling value for their back-to-school and back-to-college shopping.”