Target said online sales grew 41
percent in the second quarter. (Craig Lassig / Shutterstock) (CRAIG LASSIG / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock / Craig Lassig / Epa-Epe / Rex / Shutterstock)  Aim on Wednesday, a wave of well-known retailers stepped into strong quarterly sales, as price-conscious consumers, the Applied to Toys, Electronics, and Housewares
The Minneapolis-based chain said it had the highest increase in store sales of 6.5 percent, a record of sales in its at least one year open stores in 13 years, when customer traffic rose to "unprecedented levels". But Target also benefited from the bankruptcy and closure of some of its competitors. The online sales, meanwhile, increased by 41 percent.
Analysts and executives attributed the retailer's strong earnings to rising consumer confidence. Unemployment remains at its lowest level in years and recent tax cuts have resulted in higher net wages for many Americans, boosting sales for some of the country's largest retailers, including Walmart, Home Depot and Nordstrom.
There is no doubt that we, like others, are benefiting from a strong consumer environment – perhaps the strongest I have seen in my career, "said Brian Cornell, CEO of Target, at an analyst meeting on Wednesday.  However, others pointed out that many of the gains so far have been focused on lower-cost retailers, with TJX Companies, which oversees TJ Maxx and Home Goods, said this week that earnings rose 34 percent in the second quarter, while sales were up 12 percent Walmart, meanwhile, posted a 4.5 percent increase in sales, which helped it increase its shares by 11 percent last week.
[ Walmart shares up 9 percent after strong earnings report  "The customer shows up in the stores and they will surely show up online, but prices are falling," said Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at C olumbia Business School and former CEO of Sears Canada. "Unemployment is very low, but underemployment is still a problem and wages are stuck."
As a result, he and others stated that Americans are increasingly spending their money on chains such as Target that promise value and expediency.
But not all retailers have got a boost. Lowe said it would close down all 99 of its Orchard Supply Hardware Stores and a Californian distribution center after a 7 percent decline in the second quarter. The closure of Sears, Kmart and Toys R Us stores across the country has also helped drive the store traffic to Target.
According to analysts, Target and Walmart's efforts to offer more fresh food and curb pickup have attracted shoppers who would otherwise have bought goods online.
With the launch of exclusive brands such as Wild Fable and Original Use, which specialize in trendy clothing for 20- and 30-year-olds, and Hearth & Hand with Magnolia, Target has also opened up new and growing markets, a home-decorating line of TV -Personals Chip and Joanna Gaines. It has also transformed hundreds of stores and so far this year has opened a dozen smaller-format locations near college campus to appeal to boosted students.
[Upscale, downscale: Target draws customers with collaborations with high-end brands]
"Consumer sentiment has risen, but when immersed, there is a degree of uncertainty about how well-founded this economic growth is," said Neil Saunders, Managing Director of GlobalData Retail. "People say how long will that take, will I lose my job? Because of this, many of their expenses have been focused on low-price and discount stores."
At Target, executives said the company was close to closing down 800 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores has benefited this year. which has helped stimulate demand for toys and other children's items. Baby clothing sales rose nearly 20 percent in the last quarter, with much of this growth attributable to the company's own brands.
"Given the strong affinity between families with small children and our brands, toys and baby play a key role for us," said Mark Tritton, Target's Chief Merchandising Officer, in the earnings survey. "The momentum we see in our business is amazing, and we can not point to a single driver."
But executives also warned that impending tariffs and a possible trade war with China could dampen future growth
"As a guest-focused retailer, we are concerned about tariffs because they would increase prices for everyday products for American families." Cornell said. "In addition, continued deterioration and global trade relations could affect economic growth and vitality in the United States."
[The unlikely reason Americans are shopping at Target again]
Overall, second-quarter earnings increased 19.1 percent to $ 799 million from $ 671 million a year ago. Sales increased 6.9 percent to $ 17.8 billion.
Target's stock rose about 3 percent on Wednesday, closing at $ 85.94 each. This year, the company's stock rose more than 23 percent.
Retailers market directly to children shopping on their smartphones
Playskool crayons contained asbestos, advocacy group says
Is soda over? Pepsi buys Sodzer maker SodaStream for $ 3.2 billion.