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Target reported the largest quarterly sales growth, including an online sales spike, in its 58-year-history, the latest evidence that Americans are consolidating their trips to big box stores and pivoting their spending to around the home during the pandemic, Anne D’Innocenzio reported for the Associated Press (AP) late on August 19, 2020.

Target said that online sales nearly tripled during the quarter as shoppers relied more on services like curbside pick-up amid concerns about infections. But Target’s same-store sales also spiked 10.9% during the three-month period ended Aug 1. Meanwhile, home improvement retailer Lowe’s Cos. reported on Wednesday that comparable store sales in the US surged 35.1% and online orders more than doubled.

Walmart, Home Depot and now Target and Lowe’s have reported surging sales for the latest fiscal second quarter that well exceeded analysts’ expectations as Americans limit their supply runs to fewer stores and do more cooking and do-it-yourself projects at home.

Store executives say the federal stimulus checks and the extra unemployment benefits helped boost spending during the period. But even as business tapered off when they expired, retailers continue to see strong sales growth and acknowledge that a major shift in spending is at play. “There’s a true shift in share of wallet from vacations, from dining out, from apparel purchases to the home,” Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison told AP on Wednesday.

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