Target joined Walmart, Macy's, and Home Depot in reporting strong first quarter results. Investments in private label brands and services such as curbside pickup are paying off; Target said that sales rose 23% in the first quarter. According to CEO Brian Cornell, Target's customers are returning to stores with money to spend, thanks to rising vaccination rates and the latest stimulus check. These consumers are ready to lead normal lives again, and they are shopping accordingly.
Buoyed by this confidence, Target offered a second-quarter forecast that was well above Wall Street’s expectations, despite facing tough year-over-year comparisons.