Target has its best 3 months in 13 years because customers are shopping more often

The company says store remodels are helping grow traffic.
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Target has just had its best quarter since 2005, reporting comparable sales growth of a whopping 6.5 percent.

The Minneapolis retail giant released its 2nd Quarter results on Wednesday, with the growth driven by a 4.9 percent increase in store sales, and a 41 percent increase in digital sales.

The Bullseye made total revenue of $17.8 billion, an increase of almost 7 percent on the $16.6 billion made in the same period last year.

The main theme throughout Target's call with investors on Wednesday morning is that the rise in sales isn't down to "any single thing we're doing, it's the result of everything we're doing," as chief operating officer John Mulligan put it.

Put simply, customers are shopping at Target more often.

There have been a number of initiatives designed to bring customers back for more visits, not least its increasing number of exclusive brands in apparel, home and tech, and an ongoing refresh of the grocery section.

But Target has also been investing heavily in remodeling its stores, something that some Twin Cities stores have already seen – like the flagship store on Nicollet Mall.

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By the end of this year, 28 stores in the metro area will have undergone upgrades as part of a $250 million investment, with 1,000 stores nationwide having the same treatment by 2020.

This is already having the desired results, with Mulligan saying that customers are shopping in refreshed stores more often than stores that haven't had the upgrades, even "beyond the first year after remodel."

What are people buying?

Everything, it seems.

There were significant sales rises across the board, with "unusually strong" growth in apparel, beauty and home categories, with home seeing double digital growth driven by sales of kitchenware and seasonal goods like back-to-school and college.

There was also strong sales in toys, baby, pets electronics, and grocery.

Target's response to Amazon's Prime Day also boosted digital sales, proving to be its biggest ever online shopping day outside of the Black Friday/Christmas period.

As well as giving Target a chance to "stress test" its system ahead of the Holiday season, online sales were more than 3 times higher than usual during the discount day.

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