Target Is Bullish on Sales Outlook Beyond the Pandemic

Coming off the heels of a record 2021, Target is expecting a year of continued growth, pandemic notwithstanding.

The big-box retailer recorded $106 billion in total revenue in 2021, with comparable sales up 12.7% over 2020. GAAP earnings per share were up 63.1% year-over-year to $14.10, with adjusted EPS up 44% to $13.56.

Target shared guidance for fiscal year 2022, which includes an expectation of low- to mid-single-digit revenue growth, with high-single-digit growth in adjusted EPS. Overall, Target expects 2022 progress to kick off slowly and gain traction as the year continues.

“Our strong fourth-quarter performance capped off a year of record growth in 2021, reinforcing the durability of our business model and our confidence in long-term profitable growth,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target. “As we look ahead, we’ll keep investing and delivering on all that has earned the loyalty and trust of our guests; that starts with our outstanding team and includes continued differentiation through affordability, assortment, ease and convenience.”

Target shares were up over 13% in pre-market trading on Tuesday.

Throughout the pandemic, Target has consistently delivered strong sales results, despite industry-wide supply chain slowdowns and inventory shortages. To address supply chain bottlenecks, Target said last year that it had expedited ordering and pivoted to ordering larger quantities upfront in advance of a season to allow for more time for freight to get to stores.

Target also benefited from the company’s supply chain setup, which positions its stores as fulfillment hubs. Since 2017, Target has zeroed in on its brick-and-mortar store-focused approach, including a multibillion-dollar investment into store remodels, opening new locations in urban centers such as New York City, and redesigning its stores as fulfillment hubs and activating 1,900 fulfillment centers across the U.S.

These investments were crucial to Target’s outstanding performance throughout the pandemic. When city and statewide shutdowns occurred during the pandemic’s onset, Target was prepared with alternative ways to get products to consumers, thanks to early investments in curbside pickup and a fulfillment method that involved using stores as hubs.

“Those investments certainly paid back in a big way during the pandemic,” said Cornell during a fireside chat at NRF’s Big Show in January.

To attract and retain employees, Target on Monday announced a new starting hourly wage range of $15 to $24 for hourly employees in stores, supply chain facilities and corporate headquarters. The wages will vary depending on job and location. The announcement comes as retailers across the country struggle to fill open jobs in offices and stores.

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