But strong December sales at Costco show that not all the traditional retailers suffered during the holidays.
“Holiday sales did not meet our expectations,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said. The company “faced challenges” in electronics, toys and home goods, he said. Together, those divisions make up around one-third of the company’s holiday sales. Target did enjoy a 19% bump in online sales.
The sentiment among several Wall Street analysts Wednesday was that Target’s holiday results did not signal a systemic problem at the company, but rather a slowdown in key holiday areas like toys.
“Target remains a good retailer on the right trajectory,” said Neil Saunders, analyst at GlobalData Retail.
Target has been on a winning streak since 2017, drawing shoppers with private-label brands, remodeled stores and new small-size stores in cities.
But the company also announced a shake up of its executive ranks Wednesday in the wake of the disappointing holiday sales.
Janna Potts, a 30-year veteran of the company, is retiring as executive vice president and chief stores officer, to be replaced by Mark Schindele, a 20-year veteran of the company himself. It also announced two chief merchandising officers. Christina Hennington will oversee merchandising for hardline and essentials, while Jill Sando will be in charge of merchandising for style.