June 18, 2024

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Target closes stores ahead of third quarter earnings report

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Target’s store in Harlem is one of nine locations that the retailer recently shuttered. It blamed the closures on high levels of theft and safety risks.

Melissa Repko | CNBC

In the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, Target‘s first store to open in Manhattan has permanently shut its doors. The retailer has closed eight other city stores around the country.

Target’s closures, which the company blamed on theft and violence at a time when sales have stagnated, marked the latest in a series of public setbacks for the big-box retailer— a jarring turnabout for a company seen as a major pandemic winner.

Yet as Target tries to pull itself out of a recent rut, Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan said the company sees “lots more opportunity to grow in New York,” including city neighborhoods. He pointed to closures and openings in Target’s hometown of Minneapolis-St. Paul and in Chicago as evidence that shuttering stores does not mean the company has run out of room to grow.

“If you go back through time, this is something we’ve done over and over again,” he said. “And when we close a store in a market, it doesn’t mean we stop investing in that market.”

This week, Target for the first time since the surprise store closures will update investors on its sales trends and efforts to overcome a string of challenges. It will report fiscal third-quarter earnings on Wednesday and share with investors where it plans to go from here. The company, in many ways, embodies both the benefits retailers saw during the Covid pandemic spending boom and the unique challenges they have faced coming out of it.

Read more: Consumer spending fell in October, according to new CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor tracking card transactions

Like other retailers, Target is dealing with softer sales — a reflection that shoppers have less to buy after a stimulus-fueled shopping spree and have pinched pennies because of inflation. It has coped with other dynamics, too, including stocking too much of the wrong…

2023-11-13 09:04:04

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