Target Boosts Curbside Pickup 500% as Digital Sales Surge

The retail giant's home delivery service Shipt also grew by nearly 280%.

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Need to Know

  • Target’s digital sales grew by 155% in Q3, with curbside pickup service growing more than 500% and home delivery with Shipt up nearly 280%.
  • Total revenue for the retailer hit $22.63 billion, up 21% year-over-year, and ahead of analysts’ expectations of $20.93 billion.
  • Net income rose to $1.01 billion from $714 million this time last year.

Analysis

Target exceeded analyst expectations in its third quarter, posting a total revenue of $22.63 billion for the quarter, which was largely buoyed by a spike in digital sales.

The use of Target’s curbside pickup service was up more than 500% over the quarter, while home delivery with Shipt, the courier service owned by Target, was up 280%. Order Pickup, which allows customers to retrieve items they bought online in person, grew by more than 50%. These numbers are due to a 155% increase in comparable digital sales in Q3, with sales online and at stores open at least a year rising 20.7% over the same period. These numbers follow an established trend for the retailer: In September, Target reported that it added 10 million new e-commerce customers in the first half of fiscal 2020.

Net income for the quarter was up to $1.01 billion up from $714 million during Q3 of 2019. Total revenue for Target meanwhile hit $22.63 billion, which is a 21% year-over-year increase and exceeds analysts’ expectations of $20.93 billion for the quarter. In specific retail categories, sales in electronics grew by more than 50%, while sales of home items were up more than 20% and apparel was up by almost 10%. Essentials & beauty and food & beverage, meanwhile, saw growth in the high teens.

Target plans to emphasize and grow its digital capacities during the coming holiday season, announcing in September that its 130,000 seasonal hires would focus mostly on the fulfillment of online orders. At the time of that announcement, more than 90% of Target’s online orders were fulfilled by stores; seasonal workers will focus on additional in-store safety measures, such as sanitizing shopping carts and ensuring physical distancing among customers, in addition to preparing online orders.

The store is also launching a reservation system that will allow shoppers to hold their place in line at physical Target locations and is also adding nearly 8,000 parking spots for curbside pickup. Target CEO Brian Cornell said this week that the retailer expects that “many families will be shipping gifts across the country and be celebrating very differently than they had in the past.”

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