Target sales metric rises but misses predictions

AP News
Posted: May 05, 2011 9:24 AM

Target Corp.'s April revenue increased 13.1 percent at stores open at least a year, as customers flocked there for basics like groceries and clothing.

Much of the increase was a result of a later Easter that push more holiday-related spending into April.

Still, CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement that April sales were "somewhat below our expectations," and they were slightly below analysts' predictions of 13.2 percent.

Steinhafel says customers are feeling squeezed by the rising costs of gas and groceries.

Groceries drove the sales increase, rising more than 30 percent. Clothing, especially for children, also did well, the company said.

Sales were softer for jewelry, electronics, and decorative home products.

Revenue at stores open at least a year is a key indicator of a company's health, since it excludes the impact of newly opened or closed stores.

Total revenue for April rose 13.7 percent, to $4.87 billion.

Target said it expects May revenue at stores open at least a year to increase by a low- to mid-single-digit percentage.