Target Rings Up Strong Holiday Season

As Target reported a November/December 5.7% comparable sales growth, the retailer also revealed several changes in its executive suite.

In the November/December holiday period, traffic was the primary comparable sales driver, Target asserted, bolstered by a small increase in average ticket. Store pickup plus drive up sales grew more than 60% in the period year over year, accounting for a quarter of the company digital sales over the two months. The driver of comparable digital sales growth, which came in up 29%, was store-fulfilled digital sales.

All five Target core merchandise categories saw comparable sales growth in the November/December period, the retailer maintained, with the strongest gains in toys, baby products and seasonal gift items.

Among several executive changes, Target’s chief financial officer Cathy Smith will retire after the company appoints a successor for her position. She will take an advisory role until May 2020. Target added that it is in the process of conducting an internal and external CFO search.

The company also appointed Stephanie Lundquist, who has been chief human resources officer, president of food and beverage. In addition, Target promoted Melissa Kremer, svp/human resources, to chief human resources officer, and named Katie Boylan, svp/communications, chief communications officer.

In addition, Target tapped Mike McNamara, chief information officer, to lead the company’s enterprise data analytics and business intelligence team in addition to his technology services unit stewardship; and named chief marketing officer Rick Gomez to chief marketing and digital officer.

Brian Cornell, Target’s chairman and CEO, said, “We are very pleased with Target’s holiday season performance, which came on top of really strong results in the same period last year. This performance demonstrates the benefit of placing our stores at the center of every way we serve our guests, including both in-store shopping and digital fulfillment. Given our fourth quarter outlook, we are on track to deliver Target’s strongest full-year comparable sales growth since 2005, market-share gains across all of our core merchandising categories and double digit growth in adjusted EPS. In 2019, we expect to build on this momentum as we gain further scale in our fulfillment capabilities and deliver profitable growth throughout the year.”