Hitting the Holiday Target

Published on: January 10, 2018
By: Dan Muller

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As we get further away from the 2017 holiday shopping season (HSS), many retailers are starting to report their sales numbers from the key shopping period and throughout all of 2017. Yesterday Target announced that their same-store sales jumped 3.4% during the season, which was enough for them to raise their fourth-quarter earnings outlook. And while Target didn't officially report their numbers for online sales, the retailer did state that they were on track to grow more than 25 percent in 2017. 

CEO Brian Cornell released a statement on Target's plans for 2018, saying "we will build on the foundation we established this year by launching additional exclusive brands, enhancing our digital capabilities, opening approximately 30 small-format stores and tripling the size of our remodel program to more than 325 stores."

The news of their fourth quarter sales exceeded predictions by 1.4 percent, and this will also be the fourth year in a row that Target is passing the 25 percent mark for growth of their digital business. But how are other major retailers reporting their progress in the wake of the critical holiday period? 

On the apparel front, Kohl's and JCPenney both reported strong holiday sales during the 2017 season. Kohl's Corp. announced that holiday season sales increased 6.9 percent compared with the same time last year. Meanwhile, JCPenney said that their sales rose 3.4 percent at stores that were open at least a year. Nordstrom also joined the ranks with holiday sales jumping 2.5%, an increase that was attributed to business from their off-price Rack division. 

All of this is to say that retailers didn't do too bad this holiday, especially when considering the ongoing threat of a certain eCommerce giant. Amazon did report their “biggest holiday” ever, but that claim was based around record levels of Prime memberships more than overall sales. For now, it looks like a number of brick-and-mortar retailers are staying in the fight. 



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