Retail

Apple, Target Expand Relationship With New Apple Experience

Big-box retailer Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) announced Thursday that it will begin rolling out an “enhanced” shopping experience for its customers looking for products from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). In the announcement, Target said the new program would debut online and roll out to 17 stores this month.

The expanded Apple experience is planned to roll out to more locations by the end of the fall. Target has more than 1,900 stores but did not say how many would be included in the collaboration with Apple. The dedicated store space for Apple products includes new lighting fixtures and displays for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, Apple TV and other Apple accessories.

Stores scheduled to be part of the initial rollout are located in Monticello, Minnesota; San Jose, California; Oklahoma City; Allen, Texas; Hurst, Texas; Austin, Texas; Irving, Texas; San Antonio; Gainesville, Florida; Orlando; Clearwater, Florida; Miami; North Wales, Pennsylvania; Newark, Delaware; Woburn, Massachusetts; Nashua, New Hampshire; and Latham, New York.

Christina Hennington, Target’s executive vice president and chief growth officer, commented: “Apple products are popular with Target’s guests, and this new, dedicated shopping experience offers enhanced service and expanded offerings, building on our strength as a go-to destination for electronics.”

Target has similar strategic deals with top consumer brands like Disney, Ulta Beauty and Levi Strauss. All are part of Target’s strategic goal of becoming the “ultimate destination” for the most popular national brands.

Target reports fourth-quarter results next week, and analysts expect the company to post earnings per share of $2.53 on sales of $27.42 billion. If Target meets those expectations, that would reflect an increase of nearly 50% in earnings per share and more than 17% in sales.

Shares traded up less than 1% Thursday morning, at $187.00 in a 52-week range of $90.17 to $199.96. The consensus 12-month price target on the stock is $202.49, implying a potential upside of more than 8% to the current share price.

Apple stock continues to slide, down almost 1.2% to $123.90, in a 52-week range of $53.15 to $145.09. Short interest in Apple is more than double its level at this time last year.