August 20, 2014, 11:10 AM

Target books a 30% e-retail sales gain in Q2

But the Top 500 retail chain is still paying for the 2013 data breach.

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Target Corp. says today that its e-commerce sales increased 30% year over year in the fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 2.

The retail chain, No. 18 in the 2014 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, does not publicly disclose its quarterly or full year e-commerce sales figures. According to Top500Guide.com, Target’s web sales hit an Internet Retailer-estimated $2.3 billion in 2013, up 19.2% from the previous year.

In a release today, the chain credited “flexible fulfillment” for the Q2 e-commerce sales gains. Late last year, Target launched a buy online, pick up in-store program. In May, the chain announced plans to test same-day delivery in three markets: Minneapolis, Boston and Miami, with the cost-per-delivery set at $10.

For the second quarter, Target reported:

• Total sales of $17.406 billion, up 1.7% from $17.117 billion for the same period last year.

• Net earnings of $234 million, down 61.7% from $611 million for the same period last year. The chain continues to pay for a data breach last year that exposed the credit or debit card details of 40 million customers and other personal information of 70 million shoppers and led to the resignation of its CEO in March.Target in early August said that its second quarter breach-related expenses cost the retailer $148 million—more than all but 178 retailers in the 2014 Top 500 Guide sold online throughout all of last year. That’s on top of the $88 million worth of expenses the retailer incurred in the first quarter.

• Comparable store sales remained virtually unchanged, compared with a 1.2% gain posted in the second quarter last year.

“While results from the quarter didn’t meet our expectations, we are seeing some early signs of progress as we work to improve results in the U.S. and Canada,” says John Mulligan, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Target Corp.. “In the U.S., traffic trends continue to recover and monthly sales are improving, with July comparable sales up more than 1%. Better U.S. sales have continued into August, driven by early back-to-school results. In Canada, the team is making important changes to operations and the merchandise assortment with a focus on delivering improved results by this holiday season."

For the first half of the year, Target reported:

• Total sales of $33.614 billion, up 0.45% from $33.462 billion for the same period last year.

• A comparable store sales decline of 0.2%, compared with a 0.3% gain for the same period last year. 

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