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Target profit flat in Q2; raises outlook

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Minneapolis — Target Corp. reported Wednesday that profit for the second quarter remained essentially flat at $704 million.

Sales advanced 3.5% to $16.45 million, boosted by a 3.1% same-store sales rise in the quarter but missed Wall Street’s expected $16.75 million in revenue.

The retailer told investors it was pleased with the performance of its City Target debuts in Seattle, Los Angeles and Chicago. It is also looking ahead to its Canadian expansion, as Target will soon begin opening its 125 to 135 stores at store locations once owned by Canadian discounter Zellers.

Target also raised its profit guidance for the year.

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Abercrombie & Fitch Q2 profit plummets 52%; to open fewer Hollisters than planned

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New Albany, Ohio — Abercrombie & Fitch reported Wednesday that net income in the second quarter slid 52% to $15.5 million, compared with $32 million in the year-ago period.

Total sales rose 4% to $951.4 million, missing Wall Street’s forecast of $954.9 million, and U.S. sales fell 5%. The retailer said Wednesday it is cutting its 2012 earnings guidance and will open fewer international Hollister stores in fiscal 2012 than initially planned.

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Report: Wal-Mart, Target to develop mobile payment network

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — A Wednesday report by the Wall Street Journal said that big retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores, Target Corp. and 7-Eleven are planning to develop a mobile payment network much like the Starbucks Square initiative that was announced last week.

Citing unnamed sources, WSJ said the merchants are working to develop a Merchant Customer Exchange initiative to match similar services from Google. This type of technology allows customers to download applications to their smartphones that enable the devices to pay for purchases by tapping their phones against a reader in stores.

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