Sales surge at Target

Blowout earnings at Target as shoppers flooded back, flush with federal stimulus. The retailer posted an 18% increase in quarterly same-store sales, extending its winning streak. Profit jumped 7-fold.

With more and more people vaccinated, customers felt safer returning to stores, where they spent their stimulus checks on home goods and other items.

And it wasn’t just in-store. Digital sales jumped 50%, driven largely by same-day delivery services.

In a sign that people were ready to spend more time outdoors, sales of clothing shot up 60%, while food, beverages and other essentials posted modest gains. That’s a sharp contrast to last year when panicked shoppers stocked up on toilet paper and packaged foods.

In the latest quarter, Target grew its revenue 23%. Its top and bottom lines easily beat Wall Street’s estimates. It now forecasts comparable sales will post single-digit growth in the last two quarters of this year – a period for which analysts were expecting a decline.

Target shares rose in early trading Wednesday.