Target reports stellar Q3 with 12.7 percent sales rise; gross margin rate hit by supply chain crisis

Target reports stellar Q3 with 12.7 percent sales rise; gross margin rate hit by supply chain crisis

THE WHAT? Target has reported a 12.7 percent sales rise in Q3, with profits up 47 percent.

THE DETAILS The U.S. retailer saw comparable store sales growth of 9.7 percent, with comparable digital sales growth of 29 percent. 

Total revenue of US$25.8 billion was up 13.3 percent year on year, while operating income was US$2 billion, up 3.9 percent from 2020. 

However, the company didn’t come away totally unscathed, with Q3 operating income margin rate at 7.8 percent compared to 8.5 percent in 2020, with the third quarter gross margin rate at 28.0 percent, compared with 30.6 percent in 2020.

According to a press release, “This year’s gross margin rate reflected pressure from higher merchandise and freight costs, increased inventory shrink, and increased supply chain costs from increased compensation and headcount in the Company’s distribution centers.”

Target exceeded expectations with the results, and has raised its projections for Q4 comparable store sales.

THE WHY? Speaking about the Q3 growth, Brian Cornell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Target said, “Following comp growth of nearly 21 percent a year ago, our third quarter comp increase of 12.7 percent was driven entirely by traffic, and reflects continued strength in our store sales, same-day digital fulfillment services and double-digit growth in all five of our core merchandising categories. With a strong inventory position heading into the peak of the holiday season, our team and our business are ready to serve our guests and poised to deliver continued, strong growth, through the holiday season and beyond.”

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