Target gains momentum for holidays

After a slow start to the month of October, Target recorded a 1.7% same-store sales increase the company said was toward the low end of its guidance. Softness early in the month was offset by strength later in the month and overall customer traffic was said to be healthy with the strongest results seen in non-discretionary categories.

Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel didn’t dwell long on the October results in prepared comments and shifted focus to an optimistic outlook for the holiday season.

“While the environment remains uncertain, we’re entering the fourth quarter with exciting holiday marketing and compelling merchandise that will deliver superior value to our guests,” Steinhafel said. “We believe that our new 5% REDcard Rewards savings program and recently completed 2010 remodel program will cause guests to choose to shop with us more than ever, driving continued profitable market share gains for Target.”

Net sales for October totaled $4.6 billion, a 2.2% increase from the same month the prior year. The company currently operates 1,752 stores.

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