Target sales hurt by early November slump

  • Article by: THOMAS LEE and JOHN EWOLDT , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: November 29, 2012 - 10:49 PM

The retailer's same-store sales dropped 1 percent for the month, surprising analysts.

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FrankLNov. 29, 12 8:55 AM

I am not surprised, went into Target an hour after they opened on Thanksgiving, and you could still get their doorbusters, still had plenty of stock. Also, noticed that while there were a lot of shoppers checking out, most only had a handful of items, not a cart full.

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tdmillerNov. 29, 12 9:10 AM

I find the way you report the numbers a bit confusing, and wonder if they are correct. In the first paragraph you say Target's November sales fell one percent. In the third paragraph you say sales fell 0.1 percent for the four weeks ending November 24, which appears to include some days at the end of October. Do the sales you report in the first paragraph include all of November? Or do they include the same four week period you mention in the third paragraph? If it's the former, reporting on two different periods is confusing and a bit odd. If it's the latter, the numbers simply don't match.

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d434478Nov. 29, 12 9:20 AM

No-Like-Target... and we used to shop everything there years ago. Why? Bad return policies, less than welcoming experience, problems with bridal registries, messed up website...to name a few. LOVE Costco and Kohl's ... examples of two retailers that nurture customers.

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royal2012Nov. 29, 12 9:40 AM

This is the second month Target has posted disappointing sales. McDonald's announced that September sales fell 2%. Don't believe the media propaganda, folks. Every sign indicates the economy is going back into recession. Large industrial companies like 3M, DuPont, and Dow Chemical said in October that 3rd quarter revenues were down because of a weak economy. Medical companies are slashing thousands of jobs because of new medical taxes. You know who is to blame for those job losses, don't you?

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LauraJeninNov. 29, 1210:07 AM

Target's Thanksgiving doorbusters were a dud this year. Couple of interesting deals, but many doorbuster bins were still in stores on Sunday. If it wasn't for my Rewards card extra 5% I would have bought my big tix items elsewhere.

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WHIMSEYNov. 29, 1211:20 AM

Target, Target, Target; a lot of us grew up with target but let's be honest, Target is just not that exciting as it once was. The staff has attitude, your selections (overall) are just not that exciting and store layouts are actually boring. Do not blame as you did in this article simply look in a mirror please. To answer your question yes I do shop Target on a regular basis but only because a store is at my back door.

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BadgerNov. 29, 1211:28 AM

One of the problems is that they just don't stock their grocery shelves. They want to be in the grocery business, but don't stock their shelves regularly, only have a half-baked selection at best, and people aren't buying the rest of their stuff (they have reduced their investories so much in the Home department, to have a grocery department that is half stocked, that it's just lame now and no one over 30 shops for clothes there). No wonder they are doing poorly. Seems like they have lost their way...

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vengeance712Nov. 29, 1211:49 AM

TGT still having a problem really understanding their core customer - not the hyper-affluent type that reflects their buyers and leadership, but appealing to segments that shop at more modest chains. Perfect example is the Nieman partnership - great buys to a very select, small group, but the cost of that partnership, price of execution, and above all the 'perception' is what eats away at a larger volume of potential customers, even if the prices are comparable to WMT.

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swmnguyNov. 29, 1212:45 PM

"tdmiller": It is indeed confusing, but there are several different statistical categories being referenced here. Retailers look at these different statistics to see different trends, and they mean quite different things if you're trying to get a good view of what's really going on in a company. Unfortunately, they tend to rattle them all off in such a hurry it's hard to tell which is what.

"Sales at stores open for at least a year in November fell one percent." OK. This one means, if you take all the stores that have been open for more than 12 months, and you look at how they did through this point in the month of November last year and how they did through this point in the month of November 2012, they're down 1%.

"Overall a decrease of 0.1 percent from the same period a year ago." This one means that if you look at all the stores, including those that just opened and are getting a lot more foot-traffic because they're a novelty and the hot new store in the area, sales through this point in the month of November 2012 were only down 0.1% compared to sales through this point in the month of November 2011.

"So far this year, sales are up 3.8 percent." This one's pretty simple. Through this point in 2012, Target's sales are up 3.8% compared to the same date in 2011.

"Comparable store sales rising 3.2 percent." This means that, among stores that were open the same length of time (that is, open at least as far back as Jan. 1, 2011), those stores have so far in 2012 sold 3.2% more than they had by this same date in 2011.

The idea is to adjust for the tendency people have to flock into new stores when they first open in an area. That effect tends to throw off the statistics and not give a true picture of the overall health of the company's sales, chain-wide.

I hope that helps. It is confusing. I had to have it explained to me. And you never know; if everybody goes nuts today and tomorrow at Target, the numbers could be very different.

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ciamanNov. 29, 12 2:50 PM

It use to be fun to go to Target and they had nicer items. But now, they are like so many other cheap stores. They need a better mix and lean toward the nicer things. For cheap, all of the shoppers can go to WalMart.

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