Target’s online sales skyrocketed 141% last quarter as the big box chain benefited from Americans shopping in bulk from their homes during the coronavirus pandemic.
Digital sales, which include home delivery and curbside pickup, accelerated as the outbreak spread. In February, Target’s online sales grew 33% compared with the year prior. By April, they jumped 282%, Target said.
On a call with analysts Wednesday, Target CEO Brian Cornell said the company fulfilled more orders online during an average day in April than it did on Cyber Monday, the online shopping holiday in November.
Target’s sales at stores open for at least one year grew 10.8% during the quarter compared with the same period last year.
However, sales growth came at a cost. Target’s profit last quarter fell from a year ago because of higher supply chain and labor costs. Additionally, shoppers bought mostly groceries and daily essentials during the pandemic, instead of clothing. Groceries carry lower profit margins than clothing and other items.
Target withdrew its financial guidance for the remainder of the year, reflecting uncertainty about the coronavirus.
Target’s stock was down 1.3% in midday trading Wednesday. Target’s stock has jumped 74% in the last year.
Target is the latest retailer to report results during the pandemic that has devastated much of the retail sector and forced already struggling chains like JCPenney (JCP) into bankruptcy.
Kohl’s, which had to shutter stores, said Tuesday that sales last quarter declined 43%.
But big box chains that stayed open during the crisis have gotten a boost from panic shopping.
On Tuesday, Home Depot said it spent $850 million last quarter on expanded worker benefits.
Target has bumped up pay for workers by $2 an hour during the pandemic and plans to extend its temporary wage hikes until July.