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Target posts better-than-expected Q3, raises forecast

BY Gina Acosta

MINNEAPOLIS — Target CEO Brian Cornell says stronger-than-expected back-to-school sales lifted the retailer in the third quarter, prompting the company to raise its fourth-quarter sales and full-year earnings forecast. 

For the third quarter ended Oct. 29, Target reported a comparable sales decline of 0.2%, the retailer's second-straight quarterly drop in same-store sales. Target earned $1.04 per share, adjusted, on sales of $16.44 billion. Analysts had expected the company to report earnings of 83 cents a share on $16.3 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters. In the prior-year period, Target earned 86 cents a share on sales of $17.61 billion.

“We are very pleased with our third quarter financial results, which reflect meaningful improvement in our traffic and sales trends and much stronger-than-expected profitability,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target. “Favorable gross margin mix and efficient execution by our team drove third quarter EPS performance well beyond our guidance. We also continued to gain market share in key Signature Categories and saw unexpectedly strong sales in the Back-to-School and Back-to-College season. As we move into the biggest quarter of the year, we are pleased with our inventory position and confident that our team will deliver a great guest experience as they bring our merchandising and marketing plans to life throughout the holiday season.”

Target raised its expectations for fourth quarter comparable sales and now expects growth in the range of flat to 1%, compared with prior guidance of -2% to flat. In the fourth quarter, Target expects both GAAP EPS from continuing operations and Adjusted EPS of $1.55 to $1.75. It predicts full-year adjusted earnings per share will come in between $5.10 and $5.30, compared with its prior forecast of $4.80 to $5.20.

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Top e-commerce trends that will impact retail in 2017

BY Marianne Wilson
Absolunet has released its list of the top 10 e-commerce trends that will impact North American retailers in 2017. The e-commerce agency noted that the impact of the trends will be felt online and in stores, and by retailers and consumers alike.  
 
Here is Absolunet’s top 10 list: 
 
1. The end of Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Tech–savvy merchants are replacing Black Friday and Cyber Monday with Cyber November;
 
2. Real-Time Customization: The online AND in-store shopping experience will adapt to each consumer in real-time;
 
3. Data-As-A-Service + E-commerce: Every retailer will be able to match Amazon's selection, all the way down to product descriptions, images – even comments and reviews;
 
4. Hello, Artificial Intelligence: Consumers will interact with A.I … and they'll love it;
 
5. Bye-Bye Wallet: The beginning of the end for the wallet and cash – brought to you by mobile, wearables and other payment-enabled tech;
 
6. The Snapchat-ization of Shopping: Real-time commerce for a hyper-local era: how consumers will use mobile to unlock exclusive retail experiences;
 
7. Predictive Analysis: How merchants will use data to accurately predict their customers' next purchase;
 
8. The Uber-ization of Shipping: Smaller Walmarts, the rise of local drop-off points for online orders and same-day delivery;
 
9. Unified Commerce: The merging of e-commerce and commerce (silos are out and, possibly for the first time ever, easily avoided)); and
 
10. Disintermediation: Consumers want to deal directly with brands, and the brands couldn't be happier. Where do retailers fit in?

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Paperchase to launch holiday ‘pop-up’ stores in U.S.

BY Gina Acosta

AUSTIN, Texas — British greeting card and stationery retailer Paperchase plans to open its first pop-ups in the U.S. market just in time for Christmas.

Paperchase is famous in London for its distinctive Holiday collections, which will be showcased in the five pop-up stores. 

The Paperchase pop-up stores will be located across the U.S.:

  • Oak Park Mall – Overland Park, Kan.
  • Scottsdale Fashion Square – Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • The Shops at Willow Bend – Plano, Texas
  • The Parks Mall at Arlington – Arlington, Texas
  • Cherry Creek Shopping Center – Denver, Colo.

“We are incredibly excited to be launching five new pop-up stores in the U.S. With the lead up to Thanksgiving and Christmas, we’re offering customers something new and fresh that they won’t find in their usual retail stores,” said Simon Howes, retail director for Paperchase.

Earlier this month Paperchase announced it is planning to open two freestanding stores in the United States next year, both in Chicago. Currently, the brand supplies Target and Staples with private-label greeting cards.

 

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