Ever walked into Target and then left after accidentally blowing your budget? Follow our tips to make sure you don’t end up with shoppers remorse.
Melissa Rorech, Reviewed
If there was any doubt in your mind, nope, you weren’t the only one a little addicted to Target.
Shoppers flocked to Target stores, as its strategy to introduce new brands and entice online shoppers to visit an actual store appears to be paying off.
Traffic to the retailer rose 4.5 percent in the final quarter of 2018, which includes the all-important holiday season, and sales increased 5.3 percent. Physical stores open at least 12 months reported a sales uptick of 2.9 percent.
And online sales soared 31 percent.
Target, like many of its peers, has been taking on Amazon by leveraging its network of physical stores to enhance the online shopping experience. And in the fourth quarter, stores played a role in almost 75 percent of online sales, from delivering the packages to enabling online shoppers to come pick up their purchases or have them brought out to their car.
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“We’re very pleased with our fourth-quarter performance, which capped off an
outstanding year for Target,” Brian Cornell, Target’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “We delivered our strongest traffic and comparable sales growth in well over a decade.”
At roughly 1,000 locations, customers can drive up and have packages brought out to their cars. And online shoppers can go to any Target store and pick up purchases the same day at no extra cost.
Shoppers who visit a Target are also increasingly likely to find a store that’s been updated. The company remodeled more than 300 locations last year and plans to revamp 300 more in 2019 with the goal of having overhauled over 1,000 by the end of next year.
Sales at the reimagined stores tend to see a 2- to 4 percent uptick in sales, Target says.
Target has also been rolling out smaller stores that cater to the tastes of local urban communities and college campuses.
The retailer’s performance stands out against a backdrop of weaker-than-expected sales for the overall industry during the holiday season.
“Two years ago, Target was a retailer that stood at a fork in the road,” Neil Saunders, managing director of retail consultancy GlobalData said in a note. “It chose the difficult path of investment and modernization rather than short-term profit maximization. It is now reaping the rewards and, in our opinion, will continue to do so over the year ahead.”
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