Target CEO credit canceled vacations, non-stimulating checks, for blowout quarter

Target CEO Brian Cornell said he would like to see Congress hit a stimulus action, but he credited closed cinemas and canceled summer vacations for the retailer’s quarters during the coronavirus pandemic.

The lockdowns in the U.S. that forced consumers inside also sent them to their store and website to shop, Cornell said on Wednesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“In the pandemic, we are not going to restaurants, we are not going to movies,” he said. “Those traditional summer trips have been canceled. We are not on planes. We do not spend dollars on accommodation, so many of those dollars have been diverted to retail.”

The big-box retailer posted striking numbers on Wednesday when it reported its fiscal second quarter. Target’s sales online and at stores that have been open for at least a year climbed 24.3% in the quarter ended August 1 – a total for the retailer.

Cornell pointed to Target’s gains in 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 competitors selling home decor and clothing were forced to close during the pandemic, but Target was able to keep stores open as an essential retailer.

Cornell, however, encouraged legislators to approve additional aid to consumers.

“It is very important that the House of Representatives and the Senate come together and present a new incentive plan,” he said.

The incentive letter would help give consumers and businesses a little more certainty in a difficult time, he said.

“There’s just as much uncertainty today – what will happen to the pandemic, what will happen with flu season – as we enter the fall, questions about the economy and the new stimulus, we go back to school and back to college,” he said. he said. “That we better make sure we adapt to this environment and adapt every week. … It’s hard to understand what new week will happen, let alone three or four months from now.”