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· Target redoes year's plan as sales surge 20% mainly because of coronavirus
· Target CEO withdraws forecast: ‘None of us know how long this virus is going to last’
Target redoes year's plan as sales surge 20% mainly because of coronavirus
Sales are mainly up from people stocking up on food and household supplies.
By Kavita Kumar, Star Tribune (MN)
March 25, 2020
Target’s sales have spiked more than 20% this month from people stocking up on food and household supplies, yet the disruption caused by the coronavirus means the retailer is putting on hold or postponing its plans for the year, Target CEO Brian Cornell said.
The Minneapolis-based company will scale back the number of remodels and new stores opened, as well as adding fresh groceries and alcohol to its pickup services.
In doing so, he said the company hopes to minimize potential disruptions at a time when employees are hustling to restock shelves, sanitize checkout lanes and fulfill a record number of Drive Up and in-store pickup orders during this “unprecedented time,” Cornell said.
“We need to be disciplined about making sure our stores and supply chain can focus on serving our guests without any unnecessary distractions, knowing that we’ll need to prioritize the flow of food, medicine, and other essentials for the foreseeable future,” Cornell told reporters.
As the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded, many department stores, specialty retailers, restaurants and bars have shut down for at least two weeks. But retailers such as Target, Walmart, Costco and groceries that sell food, medicine and other essentials have remained open and have been seeing a deluge in shopping — and in some cases hoarding — that has led to frequently empty shelves of items like frozen chicken, disinfectant wipes and toilet paper.
“A surge in stock-up shopping really set in at the end of February and in the weeks since then there’s been a prolonged surge,” Cornell said.
While Target’s comparable sales in February, up 3.8%, were fairly in line with expectations, he said sales and traffic have accelerated in March, with categories such as food, beverage and household supplies skyrocketing 50%...
Target CEO withdraws forecast: ‘None of us know how long this virus is going to last’
· Target is one of the stores that has seen a spike in purchases of cleaning products, toilet paper and pantry items, but it’s also seen a drop-off in apparel and accessories sales.
· CEO Brian Cornell said the retailer is pulling back on plans for store remodels, delaying openings of many small-format stores and withdrawing guidance for the first quarter and the fiscal year.
· Stores are adopting new policies to minimize risk, such as temporarily banning all returns and exchanges, wiping down checkout lanes after each transaction and asking employees not to handle customers’ reusable bags.
Melissa Repko, CNBC
Mar 25 2020
Target is putting some of its ambitious growth plans on hold as it focuses on the day-to-day realities of dealing with coronavirus outbreak.
The big-box retailer said Wednesday it will delay plans to remodel hundreds of stores, open new ones and offer fresh groceries and beer to curbside pickup. Target is also withdrawing its financial guidance for the first quarter and fiscal year because of the unpredictable business climate.
CEO Brian Cornell said the retailer will focus on a singular mission: providing food, medicine and other essential items during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an interview with CNBC’s Becky Quick on “Squawk Box,” Cornell said he meets with his leadership team every day to adapt to new shopping patterns and discuss ways to keep shoppers and employees safe from the highly contagious virus.
“None of us know how long this virus is going to last,” he said. “We don’t know when Americans are going to go back to work. Obviously, it’s great to wake up this morning and see that the stimulus package has been approved, but we don’t know all the details. So it’s been really hard for us to say how long will this go on.”
In order to minimize disruptions, Target will wrap up remodels already underway but won’t start new ones. It now plans to complete about 130 remodels in 2020, down from plans for about 300. It will open 15 to 20 new small-format stores, designed for dense city neighborhoods, rather than the 36 it expected. It will delay the remodels and store openings until 2021 and put its addition of alcohol and fresh grocery items to pickup and drive-up services on hold.
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more, including links, video report [10:04 min.]