The Target discount store chain saw sales ramp up 10.8 percent in its quarter ending 2 May, with online sales soaring 141 percent, compared to a gain of about 1 percent at brick-and-mortar outlets.
Sales spiked as consumers stocked up on staples when the economic shutdown began, then spent more freely on electronics and clothing as people received federal stimulus payments and some state governments began permitting stores to reopen.
Beauty, electronics, and grocery items led the surge.
Target invested heavily in recent years to strengthen its online presence and has reaped the reward: during the quarter, the chain’s website saw more than five million first-time visitors and two million shoppers ordered items online that they picked up at stores.
Costco and Walmart also reported higher sales during the pandemic, with Walmart’s up 10 percent, the company said.
But Walmart also reported $900 million in pandemic-related expenses such as paying bonuses to store employees and raising wages for its warehouse workers. Target said it will spend about $500 million from March through June on similar expenses made necessary by the virus epidemic.

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