In line and on track, Target likes 2Q

MINNEAPOLIS — July same-store sales at Target increased 3.1%, in line with the company’s guidance.

Target credited an increase in average transaction size as the primary driver of a 3.1% same-store sales increase during the July reporting period. An increase in the number of transactions also contributed to a 3.1% gain that was in-line with the company’s guidance for a low to mid single digit increase on top of a July 2011 increase of 4.1%.

Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said the company was pleased with the July increase than enabled it to nail its second quarter same-store sales guidance.

“Our second quarter comparable-store sales increase of 3.1% was right in line with our expectation going into the quarter,” Steinhafel said. “Guests continue to respond to our innovative merchandising, remodel program and 5% REDcard Rewards, driving healthy increases in traffic and sales in a consumer environment that remains quite challenging.”

Even so, the company again reported that July same-store sales were strongest in food, which experienced a low double-digit increase, and in health and beauty, which experienced a mid single-digit increase. July comparable-store sales in apparel
increased slightly. However, the home and hardlines categories experienced a low single-digit decline.

Also noteworthy was the fact that the company said the sales strength was broad based with every region of the country experiencing an increase.

Look for more of same in August as Target has forecast a low-to-mid single-digit same-store sales increase. The company and discount retailers as a whole tend to fare well during the back-to-school season, but the outlook this year is a little sketchy. Survey’s suggest spending will increase this year, but analysts are convinced shoppers have the disposable income to follow through on their intentions.


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