Target CEO credits canceled vacations, not stimulus checks, for eruption quarter

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Target CEO Brian Cornell has said he would like to see Congress strike a stimulus deal, but credited closed theaters and canceled summer vacation for the retailer’s blowout quarter during the coronavirus pandemic .Locks across the United States that forced consumers inside also sent them to his store and website to shop, Cornell said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Wednesday.

“In the pandemic, we don’t go to restaurants, we don’t go to the movies,” he said. “These traditional summer trips have been canceled. We are not on planes. We don’t spend dollars on hosting, so a lot of those dollars have been redirected to retail. ”

The big box retailer released stunning numbers Wednesday when releasing its fiscal second quarter. Target’s sales online and in stores that have been open for at least a year rose 24.3% in the quarter ended Aug. 1 – a record high for the retailer.

Cornell highlighted Target’s gains in terms of new customers and market share. It attracted 10 million new digital customers and $ 5 billion in market share in the first half of the year. Some of its competitors that sell home décor and clothing have been forced to close during the pandemic, but Target could keep stores open as a vital retailer.

Cornell, however, urged lawmakers to approve additional consumer aid.

“It is very important that the House and the Senate come together and come up with a new stimulus package,” he said.

The stimulus bill would help give consumers and businesses a little more certainty in difficult times, he said.

“There is so much uncertainty today – what will happen with the pandemic, what will happen with the flu season – as we move into fall, questions about the economy and the new. stimulus, do we go back to school and go back to university? ” he said. “So we better make sure that we adapt to this environment and that we adjust every week. … It’s hard to figure out what’s going to happen next week, let alone three or four months from now. “

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