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said sales at its flagship Target Stores were "well above" plan in the week ended Aug. 23.

While the company didn't give specific numbers, its goal for August is for total sales growth of 4% to 5%, with comparable-store sales rising by 1 or 1.5 percentage points below that.

In a recorded sales update, the company said for all of August, sales have been well above plan at Target Stores and above plan for the whole company. Weakness at its Mervyn's and Marshall Field's divisions tempered the corporate results.

Target's best product categories last week were toys, drugs, electronics and entertainment. Its worst were intimate hosiery, men's apparel and jewelry accessories. The best regions were the Atlantic Coast and Northeast.

On Monday, Wal-Mart raised its guidance for August same-store sales growth to 4% to 6% from 3% to 5%.

Target closed Monday at $38.71, up 31 cents, or 0.8%.