Target ( TGT) said Monday that same-store sales for July are trending toward a 1% to 2% overall gain, hurt in part by the shift of the July 4 holiday into the June sales period.

The company's forecast for its Target stores division, however, is a little better. "Based on actual sales for first week of July, combined with our outlook for the remaining three weeks of the month, comparable-store sales at Target stores are expected to be slightly above plan for the month," the company said on a recorded call.

Last month, Target reported its weakest same-store sales gain since October 2003, at 2.3%. It had initially forecast a 5% to 7% gain. Earlier Monday, fellow discounter Wal-Mart ( WMT) said July same-store sales should rise 2% to 4% from a year ago.

The company noted that the later timing of the July 4 holiday affected the relative strength of certain categories for the week ended July 10 but it expects that to normalize as the month goes on.

The strongest categories at its Target stores in the latest week were garden, home improvement, toys, entertainment and domestics. Weaker segments were health and beauty, intimates, hosiery, and stationary holiday gifts.

The strongest regions were the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast.

Shares of Target were moving up a penny at $42.36 in Monday after-hours trading, after previously closing up $1.08, or 2.6%, at $42.35.

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