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Target saw strength in April ‘across our entire portfolio,’ CEO Brian Cornell says

Target CEO Brian Cornell on Thursday broke down the big-box retailer’s quarterly performance through the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company earlier that day reported beating estimates on the top and bottom lines for the fiscal first-quarter ended in May, including 10.8% growth in same-store sales. Target had earnings per share of 59 cents — analysts expected 40 cents — on $19.62 billion in revenue — analysts were looking for $19.04 billion.

“We saw strength in April across our entire portfolio,” Cornell told CNBC’s Jim Cramer in a “Mad Money” interview.

Target, which has invited heavily in its online business and other convenient shopping trends, saw digital sales spike 141% during the quarter as a vast majority of the U.S. was under lockdown to slow the spread of the virus.

While business was “normal” in February, sales growth accelerated by 16.5% in April, Cornell explained.

Electronic sales were up 45%, food and beverage climbed 20%, household essentials also rose 20% and kitchen sales improved by 25% in the month of April, he said.

Target also saw the use of its same-day fulfillment options — order pick up, drive up and Shipt — jump during the period as consumers adjusted to social distancing measures. Same-day demand surged 278% in the quarter, the company said.

“I think we’ve got a lot to be proud of, a lot of momentum. We’re building market share and I think most importantly, Jim, we built trust with American consumers during the pandemic,” he said, “and the investments we made in our team, the investments we made in safety, those are going to pay dividends for years.”

Target shares slipped less than 1% on Thursday to $118.68 as the broader market sold off.

The stock is down more than 7% year to date.

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