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Target's secret weapon has huge start to holiday shopping season

Brian Sozzi
·2 min read

The crucial holiday shopping season may have started off slowly for some in retail, but the folks at Target-owned (TGT) same-day delivery service Shipt didn’t get the memo.

“We are undeniably off to a very strong start. We set records in the weeks and days leading up to the holiday start. In fact on Thanksgiving Day alone, with so many retailers closed on that day, we saw a 65% increase year over year,” said Shipt CEO Kelly Caruso on Yahoo Finance Live on Monday. “That momentum continued not only through Black Friday, but well into the weekend as well. Consumers continued to place orders around groceries and gift-able items.”

Target bought the membership-based Shipt — which also works with other retailers such as CVS Health (CVS) — for $550 million in 2017. It has since expanded the company’s same-day delivery capabilities nationwide, and more recently upped the types of goods Shipt shoppers could deliver to kids and baby apparel.

Shipt CEO Kelly Caruso speaks to Yahoo Finance Live.
Shipt CEO Kelly Caruso speaks to Yahoo Finance Live.

The efforts have put Target at the center of the same-day delivery battle well underway with Walmart (WMT) and Amazon (AMZN). And those efforts by Target to aggressively scale up Shipt to more categories and city availability continue to pay major dividends in the battle for same-day delivery market share during the pandemic.

Target told analysts on a recent earnings call that Target’s sales on Shipt surged 280% in the third quarter. The result accounted for more than $200 million of additional sales for Target, execs stated.

Now Caruso is focused on one big fourth quarter goal: doubling the number of members on the platform to more than 300,000.

“When we came into the year we started with 100,000 shoppers and scaled to 200,000 quickly when we saw initial demand from the pandemic. For the holiday season we would like to grow from 200,000 to 350,000 shoppers and are well on our way to that,” Caruso added.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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