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Target digital sales grow as Americans stayed home



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Target shoppers turned more to same-day services to cut down on time in stores as Americans sheltered in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Minneapolis-based retailer announced Wednesday that its Drive Up curbside pickup, in-store pickup and Shipt delivery grew by 278% in the January-March quarter. The company said comparable sales, which included online purchases, increased 10.8% for the three-month quarter, which ended May 2.

“Throughout the first quarter, our team and guests faced unprecedented challenges arising from the spread of COVID-19,” Target chairman and CEO Brian Cornell said in a news release. “In the face of those challenges, our team showed extraordinary resilience as guests relied on Target as a trusted resource for their families.”

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Digital sales accelerated every month in the quarter and went from 33% in February to 282% in April, Target said, noting 80% of online orders were shipped from stores.

Shoppers made fewer but bigger shopping trips in stores during the period.

The company did report higher expenses due to COVID-19 including employee wages and benefits.

Target reported revenue of $19.62 billion, up 11.3% over the same period a year ago. Net income fell 64% to $284 million.

Target announced Monday that it was extending the $2 an hour temporary wage increase for employees through July 4, which is two months longer than originally announced. The company is also continuing to offer access to a paid leave program for workers most susceptible to the coronavirus through the end of June.

Target also extended the two initiatives in April and officials said at that time that the company was spending $300 million in temporary benefits, wages and bonuses for workers.

This story will be updated.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

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