Target bounces back in Q2
MINNEAPOLIS — Target came roaring back in its second quarter from a year-long sales slump amid evidence that its investments in online and store remodels are paying off. The discounter raised its outlook for the year.
Sales rose 1.6% to $16.43 billion in the quarter ended July 29, beating analysts' estimates of $16.30 billion. Same-store sales rose 1.3%, also more than analysts had expected. Comparable digital sales surged 32%.
Net income fell to $672 million, or $1.22 per share, from $680 million, or $1.16 per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, Target reported earnings of $1.23 per share, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.19.
On its quarterly call, Target gave an update on its store remodeling and new store plans. The retailer now plans to remodel more than 300 stores in 2018, up from its original 250.
Target also plans to nearly double the number of smaller-format stores it will open this year, with 15 new locations announced for 2018 and "more to come," CNBC reported.
In addition, Target is expanding its private label lines, and will launch two apparel brands, a home goods brand and an athleisure brand this fall. More are in the works.
In a statement, Target chairman and CEO said that the company was particularly pleased that second-quarter traffic increased more than 2%, reflecting growth in both its store and digital channels.
“We continue to focus on our long-term strategy, as we work to transform every part of our business and build an even better Target that will thrive in this new era in retail," Cornell said. "While our recent results are encouraging, we will continue to plan prudently as we invest in building our brands, our digital channel, the value we provide our guests and elevating service levels in our stores.”
For the full year, Target has forecast earning between $4.34 to $4.54 per share. Analysts had called for earnings per share of $4.39 in 2017, falling on the lower end of Target's updated range.
Breathe aerosol cleaning line gets Wegmans launch
LOS ANGELES — Breathe, maker of a line of aerosol cleaning products, has launched in Wegmans’ 93 doors, the company announced Tuesday. The line of products is the first aerosol cleaning line certified by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice Program, the company said.
Breathe products are powered by Starco Brands’ BreatheSafe technology, which doesn’t use such harmful petrochemical propellants as liquefied petroleum gas. Products include stainless steel, furniture, bathroom and multi-surface cleaners.
“We are honored to offer Breathe to Wegmans consumers first, as the retailer has a history of supporting products that are both efficient and safer for people, pets and the environment," Starco Brands CEO Ross Sklar said. “Breathe's air-powered technology is the future of aerosols by removing the toxic, flammable and carbon foot-printing propellants that make you need to open a window just to clean your bathroom.”
The company said it has plans for a nationwide rollout of Breathe in 2018.
Target expands, tweaks Restock effort
MINNEAPOLIS — The delivery wars continue to heat up.
A day after Target announced the acquisition of technology transportation company Grand Junction, the discounter said it has expanded the test of its next-day delivery service of household essentials, Target Restock, to the Dallas-Fort Worth and Denver markets. Target's announcement came the same day that Amazon launched Instant Pickup, which offers a curated selection of daily essentials available for pickup in two minutes or less.
The expansion of Target Restock comes after the pilot launched in late June, in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Since then, Target has been working on various enhancements, including expanding the available assortment from the original 10,000 products to more than 15,000, including such new items as school supplies and baby food. It also is making Saturday deliveries. And in a big change, the test is now open to all shoppers versus just holders of Target's REDcard. By comparison, Amazon's new Pickup program is open only to Prime and Prime Student members, as is its Prime Pantry delivery service.
To take advantage the Target program, shoppers go to the dedicated Target Restock online storefront where they can shop the assortment. (The service has a flat fee of $4.99 per box).
As shoppers fill up a box, a grey bar at the top of their screen will show the percentage of space each item in the box has taken up and the percentage of space that's left. (The box is limited to 45 pounds.) The items will be packaged at a nearby store. If the order is placed by 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, it will arrive at the customer’s home the next business day.