Target’s Explosive Holiday Sales Growth Was Driven By Curbside Pickup & These Same-Day Services

It was a stellar holiday season for Target Corp., whose sales both online and in stores surged even as the COVID-19 health crisis gripped the country.

The Minneapolis-based retailer announced today that its total comps advanced 17.2% for the months of November and December, driven by a 4.3% rise in traffic and a 12.3% increase in customers’ average ticket. While same-store sales climbed 4.2%, digital sales more than doubled — soaring 102% — as consumers turned to online channels to do their shopping.

Target attributed the growth in e-commerce to same-day fulfillment options, such as order pickup, drive-up and its Shipt grocery service, which altogether jumped 193%. Of those offerings, drive-up improved the fastest at more than 500%, while sales fulfilled by Shipt accelerated upwards of 300%. Between in-store, same-day or ship-from-store purchases, approximately 95% of the retailer’s sales during the holidays were fulfilled by its stores.

“The momentum in our business continued in the holiday season with notable market share gains across our entire product portfolio,” chairman and CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement. “We’re very pleased with our results, and the strength of our performance is a reflection of the tireless work of our team to support our guests through a safe, convenient and inspirational experience.”

In fact, Target performed so well over the holidays that the company already announced that it would again shutter its doors on Thanksgiving Day. The measure was taken last year by many retailers as a safety precaution to prevent crowding at their locations amid the pandemic.

Although hundreds of thousands of stores were forced to close as the outbreak took hold in the United States, Target as well as other big-box chains remained open due to their status as essential retailers and subsequently saw a spike in demand for everyday goods. While Target said it continued to see growth in all of its core merchandise categories, it reported the strongest sales gains in its home and hardlines divisions.

“We’ve seen continued strong sales trends in the new year,” Cornell added, “and as we turn to our 2021 plans, our team is focused on continuing to build on the guest engagement and significant market share we gained throughout 2020.”

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