By Alan Murray and David Meyer
August 23, 2018

Good morning.

Those of you who believe brick-and-mortar retail is dying should take a close look at Target’s results, out yesterday. They killed it. Biggest comparable year-over-year sales gain in 13 years–up 6.5%. And that included not only a stunning jump in digital sales–up 41%–but also a solid increase in same store sales–up 5%. The lesson, says Fortune retail guru Phil Wahba, is that e-commerce and stores can “enhance one another, rather than eat into each other’s business.”

No doubt some of the growth reflects the overall strength of the economy, which the Fed Reserve’s minutes touted yesterday. But Target’s sales growth beat that of rivals such as Walmart and Kohl’s. I give credit to CEO Brian Cornell, whose data-driven approach to retailing appears to be paying off. The company also has been helped by the launch of a dozen new brands in the last 18 months, giving shoppers a fresh reason to come to its stores.

Speaking of bricks and mortar, ServiceChannel CEO Tom Buiocchi was by the Fortune offices yesterday. The company, funded by Accel, has created a technology platform that helps retailers source repair and maintenance contractors in multiple locations from a single dashboard. It’s one more example of how technology is transforming even the most mundane aspects of earthbound businesses.

More news below.

Alan Murray


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