That's what Target CEO Brian Cornell cited for some bizarre spending patterns he observed in the latest quarter, and why he's confident Target can still hit its earnings forecast for the full year, even as first-quarter comparable-sales missed analysts' expectations and sales trends remained weak heading into the second quarter.
Take apparel. The discount retailer saw double-digit increases in certain markets where the weather was more favorable. But in the Northeast, robust gains were muted by "fairly significant declines." Net, net, the retailer's comparable apparel sales grew in the low-single digits.
In fans, another seasonal category, certain markets saw a 20 percent lift, whereas others were down 90 percent, Cornell said.
"It gives me confidence to say what we're doing is working because it's working in many parts of the country," he said, explaining that the company runs the same playbook across the U.S.