MINNEAPOLIS - Target's second-quarter numbers are in, and after four straight down quarters, things are looking up.

  • Total sales rose 1.6%
  • Same-store sales climbed 1.3%
  • Online sales exploded, up 32%

How does Dale Kurschner of Twin Cities Business explain the turnaround? With context.

"The entire retail industry during this same period had a gain in sales," said Kurschner.

But, Kurschner does give Target and its CEO, Brian Cornell, credit for creativity in this month's cover story: "The $7 Billion Dollar Bet."

"Target kind of took its eye off of what it was really good at for about a decade," said Kurschner. "They're now coming back in spades, saying we're going back to what we used to be known for."

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OK, "The $7 Billion Dollar Bet." What does that mean?

In his article, Kurschner writes that Cornell is getting the rare combination of time and cash to turn Target around by 2020. One idea is private label brands.

"What Target did was it decided we're going to create our own brands, more than it's done in the past. So, it's now creating more than 12 new brands in 18 months," said Kurschner.

Unique, affordable clothes like "Cat & Jack" and "Cloud Island."

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And, so far, Kurschner says, it's working, "So, these 12 brands – well, more than 12 brands – are meant to enhance your experience that you have with the retailer overall. You may not remember the Cat & Jack brand, but you're going to have a better feeling about Target."