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Target’s online sales grow more than 40% in December

January 18, 2017 03:34 PM
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Target Corp. found itself on online shoppers’ nice list during the holiday season.

The retail chain, No. 22 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, reported online sales increased more than 40% year over year during the month of December and more than 30% for the combined November- December holiday season. E-commerce sales gains partly offset a 3% year-over-year comparable-sales decline in stores during the November-December period, but not enough to prevent an overall sales decline.

Target’s comparable-store sales declined 1.3% for those two months. Total sales for that period were down 4.9%, a decline inflated by the December 2015 sale of the retailer’s pharmacy and clinic businesses, the company said.

“Our team has made substantial progress in positioning Target for long-term success by improving the shopping experience both in stores and on Target.com, transforming our supply chain and technology to support every way our guests want to shop, and developing new store formats that allow us to reach new guests in dense urban and suburban markets,” CEO Brian Cornell said.

Traffic to Target.com grew to 466.7 million visits during November and December 2016, up 9.8% from from 425.1 million visitors during the same period in 2015, according to data from web traffic measurement firm SimilarWeb. December in particular experienced sharp year-over-year growth, with Target.com receiving 233.1 million visits, up 15.4% from 202.0 million visits in 2015.

Meanwhile, Toys R Us Inc. (No. 35) announced a year-over-year same-store sales drop of 3.4% globally and a 2.5% decline in the U.S. from Oct. 30-Dec. 31. A spokeswoman says the retail chain does not break out online figures and would not provide details about its e-commerce performance during that span.

Toys R Us also said it plans to relaunch its online store at some point this year, but provided no specifics. In summer 2015, the retailer said it would build a new online retail platform, with a projected launch of summer 2016, using software from Oracle Corp. For years, Toys R Us had outsourced web sales to GSI Commerce, which became eBay Enterprise and then in April rebranded as Radial. As Radial, the vendor said it would encourage its e-commerce platform retail clients to migrate to Demandware while it focused on selling fulfillment, payment and cross-channel services to midsized retailers. Demandware subsequently was sold to Salesforce.com.

“We are disappointed (in the holiday sales results), but remain firmly committed to take aggressive action as we enter 2017,” Toys R Us CEO Dave Brandon said. “We have a number of important initiatives planned, including the relaunch of our webstore, which we expect will have a significant impact on our ability to drive future growth in both our baby and toy businesses."

 

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