In line and on track, Target likes 2Q

MINNEAPOLIS — July same-store sales at Target increased 3.1%, in line with the company’s guidance.

Target credited an increase in average transaction size as the primary driver of a 3.1% same-store sales increase during the July reporting period. An increase in the number of transactions also contributed to a 3.1% gain that was in-line with the company’s guidance for a low to mid single digit increase on top of a July 2011 increase of 4.1%.

Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said the company was pleased with the July increase than enabled it to nail its second quarter same-store sales guidance.

“Our second quarter comparable-store sales increase of 3.1% was right in line with our expectation going into the quarter,” Steinhafel said. “Guests continue to respond to our innovative merchandising, remodel program and 5% REDcard Rewards, driving healthy increases in traffic and sales in a consumer environment that remains quite challenging.”

Even so, the company again reported that July same-store sales were strongest in food, which experienced a low double-digit increase, and in health and beauty, which experienced a mid single-digit increase. July comparable-store sales in apparel
increased slightly. However, the home and hardlines categories experienced a low single-digit decline.

Also noteworthy was the fact that the company said the sales strength was broad based with every region of the country experienci