NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Retailers across all sectors are finding it increasingly more difficult to get customers to come in their stores. When customers do arrive, there is also the challenge of getting them to spend money.Unfortunately, Target (TGT - Get Report) has fallen short in both categories.
It seems, however, that this advantage is now slowly evaporating as there wasn't much to like in the company's recent earnings report. Sales were up half of 1% to $16.6 billion. As with other large retail chains such as Lowe's (LOW), which recently reported flat sales and weak comps, Target attributed the weaker sales (in part) to adverse weather. Interestingly, rival Home Depot (HD), which posted 7% increase in sales to go along with a 4.3% growth in comps, reported no such concerns. While I do believe that weather can have an adverse impact of retail traffic, the relative performances of peers makes this reason hard to grasp. Comps, or same-store-sales, is the metric that tracks the sales performance of stores that have been opened at least one year. Target posted a 60-basis-point decline in that category. It's not a great number. But I'm willing to give management credit here for outperforming Wal-Mart, which posted 1.4% decline.