Published on: May 19, 2022
Tough quarter for Target, which reported a $1 billion Q1 profit yesterday … a big number, but one that was about half that reported during the same period a year ago. Q1 revenue was up four percent, to $24.8 billion, same-store sales were up 3.3 percent, and digital sales were up 3.2 percent, but profit was hit by inflation, supply chain problems and a change in consumer spending patterns.
“Throughout the quarter, we faced unexpectedly high costs, driven by a number of factors, resulting in profitability that came in well below our expectations, and well below where we expect to operate over time,” CEO Brian Cornell, Target’s chief executive, said in a prepared statement.
The New York Times writes that Cornell also cited "higher transportation costs and 'a more dramatic change in our sales mix than we anticipated' as factors that hurt profits and put an 'additional strain on our already-stressed supply chain.'
"As consumers shifted their spending, in part because of the end of pandemic stimulus payments, Target was saddled with an oversupply of items like kitchen appliances, televisions and outdoor furniture, Mr. Cornell said. Shoppers have switched their focus to 'going-out categories,' he said, like fashionable clothes and travel-related items."
The Times goes on: "Target seemed to encounter many of the same problems as Walmart, which on Tuesday reported that its latest quarterly profits fell 25 percent, pointing to higher prices for fuel and labor, among other things, as a drag on profits. Walmart also missed Wall Street’s expectations for the first time in many years, and saw its share price fall by the most in a day since the 1980s. Its stock continued to fall on Wednesday, down 6.8 percent."
In its coverage and analysis, CNBC writes:
"The results this week could foreshadow trouble for a number of retailers, including Macy’s, Kohl’s, Nordstrom and Gap, which have yet to report results for the first quarter of 2022. These companies that rely on consumers coming inside their stores to splurge on new clothes or shoes could be particularly pressured, as Walmart hinted that shoppers were beginning to pull back on discretionary items to budget more money toward groceries.
"At the same time, retailers are citing an uptick in demand for items such as luggage, dresses and makeup as more Americans plan vacations and attend weddings. But the concern is that consumers will be forced to make trade-offs, somewhere, in order to afford these things. Or they’ll seek out discounted goods at shops such as TJ Maxx."