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Target's average April day was bigger than Cyber Monday

Suzanne O'Halloran

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The coronavirus sent Target customers into overdrive last month causing a historical surge in online sales of 141 percent, on par with the busy holiday shopping season.

"To put this volume into perspective, on an average day in April, our operations were fulfilling many more items and orders than last year’s Cyber Monday, a day for which we had planned months ahead of time," said Target CEO Brian Cornell during the company's earnings conference call.

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Cornell noted the quarter began on a relatively normal note before demand "exploded" into the triple-digit sales jump as customers began the nationwide shelter-in-place mandate. By comparison, in-store sales rose just 1 percent.

Customers loaded up on items to help pass the time while in quarantine, including video and board games, puzzles, housewares and kitchen items, he detailed.

TARGET'S PROFIT SINKS 64% AS COSTS SOAR AMID PANDEMIC

As for quarterly results, higher operating costs tied to COVID-19 ate into profits, which fell 64 percent year-over-year to $284 million or an adjusted 59 cents a share.

Meanwhile, comparable sales rose 11 percent from a year ago as customers made fewer, bigger shopping trips and total revenue climbed to $19.37 billion.

Target shares this year are down 6.7 percent.

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Rival Walmart, which reported earlier in the week, also saw digital sales soar 74 percent year-over-year amid strength in grocery pickup and delivery services.  Comparable sales in the U.S. rose 10 percent, bolstered by food, consumables, health and wellness and some general merchandise categories.

For the year, shares of Walmart are higher by 5.6 percent.

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FOX Business' Jonathan Garber contributed to this report. 

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