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Target's March Sales Hit the Mark

Same-store sales jump 12% for the month, helped by an earlier Easter.
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reported a 12% surge in March same-store sales, in line with expectations, as results were boosted by an earlier Easter holiday.

The Minneapolis-based discount retail giant said Wednesday that total sales for the period ended April 7 jumped 16.8% to $5.59 billion.

Last month, Target forecast a 11% to 13% rise in March same-store sales, with the big jump coming from Easter falling in the March period rather than April.

The company reiterated its previous projection for a 4% to 6% rise in same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, for the combined March and April period. For April alone, the company expects same-store sales to fall 2% to 4% against a 10.4% rise from a year ago.

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In March, the strongest-selling categories were toys, sporting goods, consumable/perishables and children's apparel, Target said in a prerecorded message. The weakest-selling goods included intimate apparel, domestics and housewares.

Most other major chains are expected to report their March results Thursday morning. Target released its sales report early ahead of an analyst day Wednesday.

Target's chief rival,


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, has forecast a 1% to 2% rise in March same-store sales.