Target lifts forecast on boost from early start to holiday shopping By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The signal outdoors the Target retailer is seen in Arvada, Colorado January 10, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

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By Aishwarya Venugopal

(Reuters) -Target Corp on Wednesday raised its forecast for annual same-store gross sales after beating quarterly expectations as Americans put together early for the holiday season and store for all the things from toys to electronics.

Major retailers, together with Amazon.com (NASDAQ:), Walmart (NYSE:) and Target (NYSE:), have launched sooner-than-usual promotional offers as demand for seasonal gadgets soars and corporations look to restrict the harm from transport logjams and different provide issues.

Target mentioned its stock ranges had been up greater than $2 billion, or a close to 20% bounce from a 12 months earlier, because it tries to cushion the affect of supply-chain disruptions, which have led to empty cabinets and delayed shipments at many retailers.

Comparable gross sales rose 12.7% within the third quarter ended Oct. 30, beating expectations of 8.4%, in accordance to IBES knowledge from Refinitiv, with virtually all of that progress coming from shops.

Store visitors jumped practically 13% as Target attracted extra customers by protecting costs low at a time when inflation has been hovering and offering fast same-day supply providers similar to Shipt and Drive-Up.

“We’ve seen strength throughout the year and we’ve seen it punctuated during key seasonal moments … That’s going to continue as we move into the holidays,” CEO Brian Cornell mentioned.

The firm now expects annual same-store gross sales to rise within the excessive single- to low double-digit vary, up from its prior forecast of a excessive single-digit enhance. It, nonetheless, didn’t elevate its operating-margin expectations.

Shares of Target, which have risen about 50% this 12 months, had been down about 2% in premarket buying and selling as the corporate mentioned its gross margin fell to 28% within the newest quarter from 30.6% a 12 months earlier on increased labor and freight prices.

Target’s whole income rose by a better-than-expected 13.3% to $25.65 billion. Excluding gadgets, it earned $3.03 per share beating estimates.

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