Target Corporation’s same-store sales rose 2.4 percent in October—a less significant increase than the one that Wall Street analysts predicted.
 
Same-store sales, or sales at stores open for at least a year, is a key barometer of retail performance. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted a 3.3 percent jump.
 
In a monthly sales recording, Target said that October same-store sales were the strongest in food and beauty products, both of which experienced “mid-single-digit” increases. Same-store sales in the home category saw a “low-single-digit” jump, and apparel sales rose “slightly,” the company said. Meanwhile, sales of durable goods, such as appliances and electronics, declined in the “mid-single-digit” range.
 
The retailer’s total revenue, which includes sales from stores open for less than a year, rose 3 percent to $4.98 million in October.
 
Same-store sales were “near the low end of our expected range,” Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement. But, “[as] we enter the fourth quarter, we feel very good about our holiday season merchandising and marketing plans and our ability to deliver outstanding value for our guests while generating strong financial performance for our shareholders.”
 
In order to attract holiday shoppers, Target announced earlier this month that, for the first time, it will match prices with online competitors this holiday season, including amazon.com, walmart.com, bestbuy.com, toysrus.com, and babiesrus.com.
 
In its fiscal third quarter, which runs from August through October, same-store sales rose 2.9 percent—which Target said was “in line” with its expectations. Total revenue for the quarter rose 3.4 percent to $16.6 billion. The company will release its full third-quarter financial report on November 15.
 
Year-to-date, Target’s overall sales are up 4.3 percent to total $49.6 billion—and same-store sales are up 3.7 percent.
 
On news of the October sales results, Target shares were trading down about 1 percent at $63.12 early Thursday afternoon.
 
Target is Minnesota’s second-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $68.5 billion in its fiscal year that ended in January. The retailer said last month that it plans to stop reporting monthly sales results in its 2013 fiscal year.
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