Investments in BOPIS pay off for Target

A look at the top mass merchant retailers from NRF’s 2020 Top Retailers list

The National Retail Federation’s annual report on the Top 100 Retailers is based on sales for the most recently completed fiscal year. The Power Player charts look at retailers with 2019 U.S. sales equal to or greater than 10 percent of sales of the category leader.

The cream of the mass merchant crop certainly received a boost during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Walmart, and almost anyone else selling groceries, boosted sales to a house-bound public during the first half of this year. Back in March, just as the COVID-19 shelter-in-place and isolation orders began to be issued, Walmart saw sales jump 20 percent.

NRF's 2020 Top 100 Retailers

Check out the full list here.

Costco was so swamped by stockpiling consumers that it was difficult to keep shelves stocked with basics like bottled water, peanut butter and toilet paper, particularly in the early days of the COVID-19 surge.

Amazon, too, had its difficulties even as sales boomed — gaps in merchandise availability, reports of price-gouging by third-party sellers and breakdowns in deliveries to Prime subscribers plagued the company. At the peak of the crisis, Amazon was forced to turn away prospective customers who were looking for home delivery of groceries.

Target, which spent all of last year improving its buy online, pick up in store services, upped its game while coronavirus lockdowns were in effect. In addition to upgrading operating systems for its online operation, Target has spent much of the last 18 months working on various initiatives to expand its customer base.

Target had big hopes of opening more of its smaller footprint stores in 2020, including some 35 to be located in densely populated urban areas and near college campuses. The company is also scouting for sites to build convenience-store-size units of about 6,000 square feet, the first of which is planned to open sometime next year.

Existing Target stores aren’t being neglected, with about 300 slated for major remodeling this year. Included in the plans for the larger discount stores are a new design and layout for the consumer electronics area. Furthermore, a revamped concept for the front of the store that includes displays of fresh flowers is also planned.

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