Target’s holiday sales jump 17%

Target’s heavy online investments paid off handsomely during the holiday season. The retailer said Wednesday robust online sales resulted in a 17% increase in comparable sales in the November-December period.

Its digital sales more than doubled. A big chunk of that growth came from its same-day deliveries and pick-up services. Demand at its drive-up service whereby customers go to the stores to collect their orders jumped more than six-fold.

Sales at its stores were strong, too. Traffic rose 4.3% as people combined their shopping trips and limited it to large retailers. Sales of goods for the home were particularly strong, as were electronics. Target said it boosted its market share in all five of its core categories. Deep-pocketed retailers like Target and Walmart are using the disruption amid the health crisis to gain market share from smaller rivals and heavily invest in their online operations.

Target said sales trends in January have been strong so far. Analysts expect its quarterly comparable sales will jump nearly 13%.