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Target March same-store sales slip 6.3 percent

Target Corp. said Thursday same-store sales declined 6.3 percent in March, slightly better than Wall Street expectations, partly because of improvement in the discount retailer's business segments.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Target Corp. said Thursday same-store sales declined 6.3 percent in March, slightly better than Wall Street expectations, partly because of improvement in the discount retailer's business segments.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a larger 7.4 percent decline in same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least one year.

Total sales for the five weeks ended April 4 fell 2.3 percent to $5.54 billion from $5.68 billion last year.

The company says same-store sales fell 5.3 percent year-to-date, while total sales have declined 1.3 percent so far this year.

Target Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement Thursday that March sales were "modestly better" than planned.

Steinhafel said shoppers are still cautious, but that operating results are improving in its business segments.

"We expect our April reported comparable-store sales results to be essentially flat to last year," Steinhafel said.

Target currently operates 1,699 Target stores in 49 states.

Shares rose $2.29, or 6.1 percent, to close at $39.89.