Target will close stores on Thanksgiving Day 2021 after great sales in 2020

The retailer saw "tremendous grow" in its Drive Up, Order Pickup and same-day delivery services.
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Target announced on Jan. 13 that its stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day 2021.

The Minneapolis-based retailer wasted no time in announcing it'll be closed on Thanksgiving Day again this year – something many stores did in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic – because its sales were so good in November and December after it revamped the holiday shopping experience.

"The response was so positive that we’ll carry it forward this year, keeping our Target stores closed all day long on Thanksgiving Day," Target said Wednesday

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and ahead of the holiday shopping season, Target made its Black Friday sales available all month long; expanded the items available via Drive Up, Order Pickup (in-store pick-up), and same-day delivery; and made it easier to switch between drive-up and in-store pick-up. 

This led to "tremendous growth" in its same-day services, the retailer said. 

Online/digital sales grew 102% in November and December, driven by Target's same-day services, which grew 193% – Drive Up grew the fastest at more than 500%, while delivery via Shipt was up more than 300%, the retailer said. 

Target's Cyber Week in November saw record-high digital orders, site traffic and orders picked up via Drive Up.

And December was a banner month for the retailer, too. Shoppers bought 150 million items using Drive Up and Order Pickup in the month of December, which was nearly four times more than during the same period in 2019. And in one day in December, Target set a record for most items picked up by customers in a single day, totaling 6.5 million items purchased via Drive Up and Order Pickup.

Overall, Target saw comparable sales in November and December grow 17.2%, which was driven by an increase in people shopping in stores (traffic was up 4.3%) and an increase in how much a shopper spent each trip (up 12.3%).

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“The momentum in our business continued in the holiday season with notable market share gains across our entire product portfolio. We’re very pleased with our results, and the strength of our performance is a reflection of the tireless work of our team to support our guests through a safe, convenient and inspirational experience," Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement. 

"Throughout the holidays, we delivered joy for holiday shoppers while focusing on safety — adjusting promotions to reduce crowding while delivering easy, contactless fulfillment options through Drive Up and Shipt.

“We’ve seen continued strong sales trends in the new year, and as we turn to our 2021 plans, our team is focused on continuing to build on the guest engagement and significant market share we gained throughout 2020," Cornell added.

According to Target, it gained market share in November and December in all five of its "core" categories, with the strongest growth coming in Home. 

Before 2020, the last time Target was closed on Thanksgiving Day was in 2011, USA Today says

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