MINNEAPOLIS -- Target Corp. here said last week it plans to increase the private-label penetration of food in its SuperTarget units, and feature food more prominently in its new and remodeled regular Target stores.
During a conference call with industry analysts to discuss results for the third quarter and 39 weeks ended Nov. 1, Gregg Steinhafel, president of the company's Target Stores division, said the company will introduce 1,000 new private-label items featuring Target's Archer Farms and Market Pantry brands in its SuperTarget stores.
He said this would result in raising SuperTarget's private-label percent of penetration in food from "from the single-digits to the mid-teens."
Steinhafel also said new stores and remodels of regular Targets completed after March will have a new "Consumables World" section featuring food and other supermarket-type items. The stores will also have two other new sections, "Entertainment World" and "Mom and Baby World."
Also spotlighting Target's increasing focus on food, the company late last month launched its first television commercial for its SuperTarget format.
This first spot, according to published reports, features various prominent brand icons -- including Frosted Flakes' Tony the Tiger and Pillsbury's Dough Boy -- going to store shelves as a voice-over intones, "And so they came to a place where everything was better, especially the prices."
The reports also quoted Michael Francis, Target's executive vice president for marketing, saying that along with focusing on national brands at low prices, future ads will showcase how the company has "chosen to build the SuperTarget concept off of our core Target brand by showing we have surprising, innovative food concepts that you won't find somewhere else."
Steinhafel said the company opened 12 SuperTarget stores in the third quarter, bring its total to 118.
In the 13-week quarter, Target's net sales rose 10.7% to $10.9 billion, comparable-store sales increased 6.7%, net income grew 8.7% to $302 million, and earnings per share were 33 cents, vs. 30 cents in last year's third quarter.
Year-to-date, sales were up 8.8% to $31.6 billion, net income rose 4.4% to $1 billion, and earnings per share were $1.10, vs. $1.06 in the previous year's comparable period.