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Target thinks it can keep growing sales, here’s how the retailer will do it


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10 tips on how to increase sales for your small business

  1. Ask questions and listen
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As a small business owner, you know that closing a sale is crucial to your growth and success, and many other small business owners wonder if there is something specific they can do to raise their close rate.

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“When delivering great service to customers, don’t think of it as a short-term transaction. Instead, make a long-term investment in your customers, and build up the opportunity for repeat business.

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Inflation is soaring. The war in Ukraine is roiling equities and energy markets. And as Covid cases wane, people are spending more on commuting and dining out.

But Target, which has been a big beneficiary of the pandemic economy, believes it can build on its already strong sales growth.

Target has become a $100 billion company during the global health crisis. The pandemic has highlighted investments the company made over the past several years, from sprucing up the look of stores to turning them into fulfillment hubs for online orders.

On Tuesday, Target argued that it can keep driving growth. It also shared a rosy forecast for the coming year: Revenue growth for the coming year in the low to mid single digits and projected adjusted earnings per share to rise by high single digits. That outlook surpassed analysts’ expectations, according to Refinitiv.

Here are five strategies the company plans to use as it works to live up to its projections:

Turning stores into mini-malls

Sipping a Starbucks coffee. Sampling lotion and lip gloss at Ulta Beauty. Trying out a new Apple device. A trip to Target stores can feel a lot like a trip to the mall — and that’s by design.

The retailer plans to add more shops and displays featuring popular national brands as it refreshes many of its roughly 1,900 U.S. stores. Target sees the destinations — such as Disney and Levi Strauss shops — as a way to draw customers and keep them coming back.

It has remodeled more than half of its stores and plans to remodel about 200 more this year, Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan said Tuesday. He said it plans to keep up that pace in the years ahead.

One of its major partnerships is with Ulta Beauty. It opened the first curated beauty shop inside of its stores in August and plans to add more than 250 new locations this year — to ultimately reach at least 800 total, said Target Chief Growth Officer Christina Hennington.

She said stores that include one of the mini Ulta shops have gotten a midteens lift in sales across total beauty and have higher rates of sales in complementary categories, too.

Hennington shared another way that stores will soon resemble malls: They’ll offer ear piercings. About 200 locations already pierce ears through a partnership with piercing company, Rowan, and more are coming soon, she said.

Sweetening perks of popular services

Shoppers may have tried curbside pickup as a way to avoid strangers and lower risk of getting Covid. Now, Target sees the popular option as a way to differentiate from competitors and encourage customers to buy more, from a hot coffee to a bottle of wine.

Target’s digital business has nearly tripled in the last two years. More than half of the company’s online sales come from its same-day services — which include Drive Up, its curbside pickup option; Order Pickup, its in-store retrieval of online purchases; and Shipt, its home delivery service.

The company is trying to give customers more reasons to use curbside pickup. Starting in the fall, select stores will allow customers to make returns or pick up a Starbucks order without unbuckling their seatbelt. About 80% of stores now offer adult beverages, such as beer and wine, through curbside pickup. Target has also added tech-based features, such as letting a shopper designate a family member or friend to pick up an order or select preferred substitutions if an item is out of stock.

“We’re leaning into the love our guests have for our digitally led same-day services because that’s sticking,” Cara Sylvester, chief marketing and digital officer, said at Tuesday’s investor day. “Routines developed early in the pandemic are now part of their lives, things they cannot live without.”

For Target, there’s a clear financial benefit, too: Customers who shop across its stores and website spend four times as much as those who only shop at stores.

Personalizing offers and selling more ads

Along with selling bananas and workout clothes, Target is selling more advertisements.

Its media company, Roundel, launched in 2007 with five employees. It’s grown to more than 500 employees and a more than $1 billion business, Sylvester said. She said the company expects that to double to $2 billion in the next few years.

For instance, she said, Clorox hired the media company to measure customer behaviors and ran a test to see which customer resonated with customers. It saw a 40% higher return on ad spend and a 25% increase in customer retention during an ad campaign.

She called it a “win-win-win” as Target taps a new revenue stream, clients see a bounce in sales and shoppers get more relevant, personalized offers when they browse the company’s website or app.

It’s the same playbook of some retail rivals, including Kroger and Walmart, that are looking beyond retail for other streams of revenue.

Catering to value-conscious customers

Nearly a third of Target’s total sales last year came from brands it created and sells exclusively. Those range from its pet food brand Kindfull to its activewear brand All in Motion.

Those private brands, which tend to have a lower price point for customers and a higher profit margin for the company, could g

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