In accordance with Goal’s CEO, buyers flocked to shops after the January trip

Target delivered another strong quarter during the pandemic, but even CEO Brian Cornell was surprised by what he saw after the vacation.

Store traffic and sales typically slow down for retailers after November and December spending and gifts. Instead, the retail chief said sales at Target rose in the first few weeks of January.

“January was a really surprising month for me,” Cornell said in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box on Tuesday. “I think if I do this for another 20 years, the comps are unlikely to grow at a rate of over 30% in January.”

According to Cornell, shoppers flocked to stores to redeem gift cards and freshen up their homes, cabinets, and kitchen pantries. He said customers are “looking for something new”.

“We have seen a great response to everything new in our range, from home to clothing to beauty,” he said.

This increased the big box retailer’s fourth quarter results and helped it beat Wall Street’s expectations.

He also recognized the investments Target had made and the trust customers gained during the global health crisis when the retailer focused on safety and offered contactless shopping options like roadside pickup.

He didn’t mention another factor that was likely to play a role: extra money in customers’ pockets. Retail sales rose 5.3% in January as Americans received $ 600 stimulus checks, according to a government report.

Like-for-like sales, a key metric that measures sales in stores that have been open for at least 13 months and online, rose 17.2% in November and December as customers bought gifts and Christmas decorations. Thanks to January, however, sales increased further – in the fourth quarter by 20.5% compared to the previous year.

However, Target declined to share an outlook for the year as it was difficult to gauge consumer behavior during the pandemic.

The goal is to hold an investor meeting on Tuesday to share his plans to keep the company performing for the coming year, especially as Americans can get vaccinations and potentially spend more money on restaurants or vacation bookings instead of shopping for the house.

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