Let’s say you start a pizza restaurant and purchase a pizza oven for $40,000. The oven (classified as property, plant, and equipment) is expected to have a useful life of 5 years and be worthless at the end of year 10. If you record deprecation on a straight-line basis (which is what Target Stores did), then you would recognize $8,000 of depreciation expense each year. The amount of accumulated depreciation, however, would change each year.
The accumulated depreciation at the end of year 4, for example, includes not just the $8,000 of depreciation taken during year 4 but the $24,000 of depreciation taken in years 1 through 3.