By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Target says its effort to revitalize the brand is working as the company’s outlook for the second quarter is good.

Customer traffic is up, and so are sales — an encouraging sign for the Minnesota-based retailer.

Target says its exclusive brands, new look and low-price message are driving forces behind the uptick.

Executives say providing guests with the ability to shop multiple categories conveniently is helping bring more customers to their stores.

From exclusive offerings in beauty and fashion, essentials and food, Target is doing what it can to continue broad-based improvements across the business.

target furniture section Target Boosts 2Q Guidance

(credit: CBS)

Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reporter Dan DeBaun says Target has been struggling with driving customers into its stores.

“This quarter they’re expecting same-store traffic to be better than they originally anticipated,” DeBaun said.

He says Target pivoted its focus over the winter from new online initiatives, to putting billions of dollars towards the in-store experience.

“A good example is the downtown Minneapolis Target, where they have that liquor store that just opened,” DeBaun said. “You see these new, revamped grocery aisles. It looks a lot cleaner. They’re putting money back into the stores and that seems to be paying off for them.”

Target also believes its new exclusive brands — in-home and apparel — are key in boosting the amount of traffic to its stores.

The good news is spreading to Wall Street. Shares are up more than five percent before the opening bell, but Target knows it has stiff competition n Amazon and Walmart.

“Target’s putting money towards in-store, Walmart online and Amazon in the background,” DeBaun said. “It’s good for Target now, but the key will be in the future how this turns out for them.”

He says it wasn’t too long ago there was talk of doom and gloom when it comes to retail. But he says Target now is on the front line of what he calls a retail resurgence.

DeBaun says three stores in the Twin Cities are experimenting with a new curb-side pickup.

You order online and drive to the store, where you park in designated parking spaces. Someone then brings your order to your car.

Only employees can participate right now, but if all goes well, it will be one of many things Target has planned to keep people shopping at its stores.

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