Target Corp. on Wednesday said holiday sales fell short and revealed key executive appointments.
The retailer said holiday sales during the November and December period grew 1.4 percent, on top of comp sales growth of 5.7 percent last year.
The results were below expectations, but the retailer said it’s maintaining its previous guidance for fourth-quarter sales growth of 1.4 percent, in line with its performance during the holiday period.
Target is also maintaining its previous guidance ranges for fourth-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations. The fourth quarter is on track to be the company’s 11th consecutive quarter of positive comp-store sales.
Comparable digital sales increased 19 percent during the holiday period, and sales through Target’s same-day fulfillment services such as Order Pick Up, Drive Up and Shipt, rose more than 50 percent, driving about three-quarters of digital sales.
The retailer saw continued strength in apparel, which was up 5 percent, and beauty, 7 percent, while there was softer than expected performance in key holiday categories such as electronics, toys and home.
Investors used the disappointing results to drive shares down. The retailer’s dropped 6 percent to $117.03 in trading Wednesday, off from a 52-week high of $130.24 set the week before Christmas.
In executive appointments, Mark Schindele was named executive vice president and chief stores officer, succeeding Janna Potts, who is retiring after 30 years with the company. Schindele most recently was senior vice president of properties. A 20-year veteran of the company, he’s held positions in merchandising, sourcing and operations.
Target said that effective immediately, it’s formalizing the interim structure it put in place for its merchandising organization in October, following the departure of executive vice president and chief merchandising officer Mark Tritton, who resigned to become chief executive officer of Bed Bath and Beyond.
The appointments included Christina Hennington as vice president and chief merchandising officer of hardlines, essentials and capabilities, and Jill Sando, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer of style and owned brands.