retail news in context, analysis with attitude

•  Target said yesterday that its total 2020 sales increased 19.8% to $93.6 billion from $78.1 billion - a dollar sales increase that, CNN noted, "was larger than its total sales growth over the past 11 years combined."

The company said that its 2020 same-store sales grew 19.3 percent, reflecting 7.2 percent growth in store comparable sales, and 145 percent growth in digital comparable sales.

Target's digital sales grew by nearly $10 billion in 2020, driven by 235% growth in the company's same-day services.


•  Publix Super Markets said yesterday that its 2020 total sales were up 17.7 percent compared to 2019, to $44.9 billion from $38.1 billion, with much of the increase attributed to the pandemic.

Same-store sales were up 16 percent.

Net income in 2020 totaled $4 billion, compared with $3 billion  in 2019. 


•  The Washington Post reports that FedEx plans to announce today that "it wants to be carbon neutral by 2040 … The company plans on achieving its goal through a $2 billion investment in vehicle electrification, sustainable energy and carbon sequestration."

According to the story, FedEx plans to convert the “entire FedEx parcel pickup and delivery fleet zero-emission electric vehicles by 2040 … The company also plans to continue to work to reduce fuel consumption in its aircraft and invest in alternative sustainable fuels. "


•  USA Today reports that "Paper Source, which sells greeting cards, paper goods and custom invitations, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday after sales plummeted due to the pandemic … The company said it had reached a tentative deal to sell its assets as an operational business to MidCap Funding Investment XI LLC, an affiliate of MidCap Financial Trust, or a higher bidder if one emerges."

According toi the story, "The move marks a reversal for a company that was expanding as recently as a year ago, having acquired some from its liquidating rival Papyrus right before COVID-19 hit.  It also marks another setback for the greeting card industry, which has been slumping in recent years amid the rise of digital competition."

The company reportedly plans to close at least 11 of its 158 stores.