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November Chills Target Sales

Target Corp. had less reason this year to give thanks in November. Today, the company reported that its net retail sales for the four weeks ended November 24 decreased 0.1% to $6.18 billion versus the year-earlier month.

November comparable-store sales slipped 1%, Target related.

In a conference call, Target said that Home and Apparel department comps slipped in the low single-digit range during November. Comps were strongest in Food, which experienced a mid single-digit increase, Target stated, and in Health & Beauty, which experienced a low single-digit increase. Comps in Hardlines decreased in the mid single digits.

“November sales were below our expectations, reflecting weaker-than-planned sales performance in the first two weeks combined with stronger sales growth across all channels later in the month,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target chairman, president and CEO. “Profitability for the month remained on plan, reflecting our efforts to balance thoughtful price investments in an intensely competitive environment with our continued focus on driving sales. With the upcoming launch of the Target/Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection, our unique assortment of exclusive, affordable merchandise and the compelling benefits of 5% REDcard Rewards and our Holiday Price Match, we believe Target has the right plans in place to allow our guests to shop with confidence throughout the holiday season.”

Target operates 1,782 stores in the United States as well as