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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Retail therapy

Target offered a solid annual profit outlook on Tuesday, saying that it hasn’t seen anything related to the spreading new virus so far that would affect its financial targets. The Minneapolis retailer’s outlook came alongside strong fourth-quarter profits, though sales were held back by weak demand for toys and electronics during the crucial holiday season. A string of retailers have reported disappointing sales for the shortest holiday shopping period since 2013. Walmart had a rare sales shortfall, while Macy’s and J.C. Penney saw sales decline during the fourth quarter. Kohl’s also posted disappointing holiday sales but still reported strong fourth-quarter earnings and revenue. Amid fears of the new coronavirus, discounters like Target may benefit in the short term as shoppers stock up on hand sanitizers, canned food and other essentials in case the virus spreads in the U.S.

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