Target said it expects same-store sales to register a modest gain in the second quarter, ending a four-quarter slide.
The retailer, known for inexpensive, stylish goods not available elsewhere, was light on details for the turnaround, citing "improved traffic and sales trends through the first two months of the quarter" for the better outlook.
Target has been roughed up by ferocious competition in the groceries sector, where it is not necessarily seen as a price leader. Sales of food, beverage and other essentials declined to 44% of Target’s total last year, down from 47% a year earlier, according to Target’s annual report. In comparison, larger rival Walmart US generated 56% of its sales last year from grocery and CPG items.
In its press release on Thursday, Target focused not on groceries but on its ongoing rollout of new product lines, such as its Cloud Island line of baby goods. The company plans to launch 12 new brands by the end of 2018.