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Target announces record results as it cashes in from the pandemic

Walmart had posted similarly huge results earlier this week.

Target enjoyed a record-breaking second quarter as it saw a huge rise in in-store sales and online orders amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minneapolis retailer announced its Q2 profits totaled $1.69 billion, up from $938 million last year, which is a record $3.55 of profit per share.

Its revenue rose to $22.98 billion compared to $18.42 billion last year, with its comparable sales increasing by a record-breaking 24.3%.

With its stores staying open during COVID-19 lockdowns as they were considered "essential retail," comparable store sales rose 10.9%, while its digital sales rose by a massive 195%, nearly triple the rise last year, as more people stayed home and shopped online.

Use of its same-day services such as order pick up, drive up, and Shipt delivery, grew 273%.

These profits were achieved even taking into account the retailer gave its employees a $2-an-hour wage bump for working during the pandemic, as well as one-off bonuses to its store and fulfillment center workers.

The retailer saw huge gains in all departments, with the drop in apparel sales seen during Q1 – when the pandemic had just broken out – completely recovering, while electronics sales increased hugely.

"We remain steadfast in our focus on investing in a safe and convenient shopping experience for our guests, and their trust has resulted in market share gains of $5 billion in the first six months of the year," said CEO Brian Cornell.

"With our differentiated merchandising assortment, a comprehensive set of convenient fulfillment options, a strong balance sheet, and our deeply dedicated team, we are well-equipped to navigate the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, and continue to grow profitably in the years ahead."

The announcement comes a day after Target's rival, Walmart, announced its own hugely successful second quarter.

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