Target to stop reporting monthly sales

MINNEAPOLIS — Same-store sales at Target increased 2.1% during September, in line with expectations for a low single-digit increase, and the company said it would discontinue reporting monthly results in 2013.

The 2.1% gain was driven almost entirely by growth in average transaction sizes and came on top of a challenging prior year comparison as September 2011 comps advanced 5.3%. As for the elimination of monthly sales reporting, the decision is consistent with retail industry trends and Target, along with Costco, are two of the last remaining major retailers who maintained the practice this year.

"This decision is based on discussions with many of our investors and is consistent with the practice of the vast majority of our retail peers," Target EVP and CFO John Mulligan said. "We believe aligning our sales guidance and reporting with disclosure of our quarterly financial results will create a longer-term focus and provide greater understanding of our sales results in the context of our overall financial performance."

Target said total retail sales for the five week reporting period ended Sept. 29 increased 2.6% to a little more than $6 billion from a little more than $5.9 billion the prior year.

"Target's comparable-store sales performance in September was in line with our guidance for the month," said Gregg Steinhafel, Target’s chairman, president and CEO. "We're pleased with our sales results through the first two months of the quarter and believe we remain on-track to attain our third-quarter sales and profit goals."

Same-store sales during the August reporting period increased 4.2%. Comps for the current month are expected to increase in the low single digits.

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