Private brands lift Target in Q1

Target has said it plans to renovate 300 stores a year.

Target is accelerating plans to strengthen its focus on private brands after reporting a blockbuster quarter of sales and profit thanks in part to its private label programs.

During the first quarter ended May 4, Target reported a same-store sales increase of 4.8%. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.53, up 15.9% from the previous year. Revenues were $17.63 billion, up 5% from the previous year. E-commerce sales surged 42%.

“Target had an outstanding first quarter, as our team delivered a great experience for our guests and drove strong growth in traffic, comparable sales, operating income and earnings per share,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Minneapolis-based Target Corp. “Throughout this year, we will continue to extend the reach of our same-day fulfillment options, strengthen our portfolio of owned and exclusive brands, remodel and open more stores and invest in our team.”

Target’s earnings show how much greater sales of its private label apparel, housewares and food products are driving growth for the company. Target executives said during an earnings call that its recently launched private label apparel brands Auden, Stars Above and Colsie were well-received. Target also launched an environmentally friendly cleaning-products brand called Everspring during the first quarter. And just this week, Target announced it’s launching a beauty line for men as part of its Goodfellow & Co. private label range.

In addition to private brands, the retailer has also been spending billions of dollars to remodel stores and use them as hubs to serve online orders, helping the company deliver products quickly.

Target has said it plans to renovate 300 stores a year and aims to grow its online sales by more than $1 billion in 2019.

“Our ability to offer the same-day services, which deliver a high level of satisfaction, is a result of our strategy to put stores at the center of fulfillment,” Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan said during the earnings call.