On his company’s earnings call on Wednesday, Target (TGT) CEO Brian Cornell said that his company faced “meaningful pressure” on its electronics sales, which declined by double digits in the second quarter. He explained that about a third of that trouble came as the result of slumping Apple sales—something he’s intent on fixing with Apple for the second half of the year.
“Notably, about a third of this pressure was driven by Apple products, which are down more than 20% in the quarter,” Cornell said during the call. “We are focused on reversing these trends and we are collaborating with Apple and other vendor partners to evolve our assortment and accelerate innovation to deliver stronger sales.”
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For those who have been watching Apple (AAPL) lately, the revelation might not come as a surprise. In the tech giant’s last two reported quarters, revenue has slipped across most of its divisions, including the iPhone, which has long led its charge. While the issues have prompted panic in the hearts of those who watched Apple’s financials soar over the last several years, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the issue is short-lived and he believes all of Apple’s product categories are strong and will be stronger in the future.
Target acknowledging how important Apple is to its electronics business, however, is notable. Apple’s own troubles aren’t just affecting its operation; they’re affecting those of its retail partners.
Looking ahead, Target’s top brass said there is a plan to work with Apple and put “the right plans together for the back half of the year.” Although Apple itself won’t confirm that new products are coming, Cornell hinted that his company is gearing up for all-new hardware from the iPhone maker.
“We are ready to capitalize on their new innovation that they will be bringing to market,” Cornell said. “Our guests come to us looking for those products. They are looking for the newness and the innovation, and we are putting together plans with Apple and our merchandising teams to make sure we are ready to take advantage of that in the back half of the year.”
Rumors abound that Apple is planning to launch new iPhones in the fall. The company will also reportedly launch a new MacBook Pro with an organic light-emitting diode touchbar above its keyboard. It would represent the biggest update Apple has made to its MacBook Pro in years.
Those innovations, along with some others Apple might be planning, could not only help the iPhone maker’s business, but also Target’s.
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Apple did not respond to a request for comment on Cornell’s statements.