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Associated Press, Published December 02 2010

Target November sales figure beats expectations

MINNEAPOLIS — Discount retailer Target Corp. said Thursday more shoppers came to its stores in November and spent more than a year earlier, helping a key revenue figure rise 5.5 percent during the month, more than expected.

The results help give hope to industry watchers that the holiday shopping season will be less muted than the last two.

Still, necessities like groceries and health care products remained Target's strongest sellers. Beauty products, clothing, electronics and toys were also in demand.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, expected a 3.7 percent gain in the figure, which is a key measure of a retailer's fiscal health because it excludes stores that open or close during the year.

Total sales for the four weeks ended Nov. 27 rose 6 percent to $6 billion.

So far this year, Target's revenue in stores open at least one year rose 2.4 percent and total revenue rose 4 percent to $51.52 billion.

Target said both the number of people buying things and the amount they spent rose for November.

CEO Gregg Steinhafel said customers were responding to the company's holiday merchandise and discounts, including a 5 percent discount it is offering all users of its Target cards.

Several other retailers also said Thursday that their November revenue beat expectations, including Costco Wholesale Corp., Limited Brands Inc., which owns Victoria's Secret, and teen retailer The Buckle Inc.


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.