Target Affirms Solid December

The retail chain sees same-store sales up 3% to 5%.
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Sales at


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in the key month of December are aimed at the bull's eye.

The No. 2 U.S. discounter said late Monday that its same-store sales, those at stores open at least a year, were set to come in "on plan," adding between 3% and 5% compared to last year's results.

With that, the retailer continues to outperform its chief rival,


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, on a comparable-sales basis. Wal-Mart has shown weakness in this measure for several months now, with same-store sales gains well below its historical average.

In November, Target posted a 3.2% gain in comps, compared to Wal-Mart's disappointing 0.7% increase. For December, Wal-Mart expects to log a 1% to 3% jump.

Target will reveal its official sales results for the month on Jan. 6. Its stock was a big winner in the retail sector Monday, closing up 81 cents, or 1.6%, to $51.31.