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Target Sings Retailer Holiday Blues

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  • Photo courtesy of Target

Target is the latest retailer to lower fourth quarter guidance after disappointing holiday sales.

Trends at Target mirrored many other retailers: Strong digital sales more than offset by weak sales and traffic at stores.

Comparable sales (stores and online) for November and December combined fell 1.3%.

Comparable store sales fell 3%, while digital sales rose 30% during the holiday period.

Total transactions were flat. Store transactions fell 1.7%, while digital transactions rose 30%.

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The company said the promotional holiday environment led Target to cut prices during the season to compete, which hurt margins.

As a result of the disappointing holiday sales, the company now expects Q4 comparable sales (stores and online) to decline 1.5% to 1%. Previously, the company’s forecast ranged from a 1% decline to a 1% gain.

Earnings per share is now expected to range from $1.45 to $1.55 vs. the previous expectation of $1.55 to $1.75.

These changes in the retail landscape are starting to claim victims - see our story about that topic here.

 

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