Holiday season to be bellwether for slipping Walmart, rising Target
"It shows that its consumer is still struggling," said Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, a research company.
Target, based in Minneapolis, initially struggled during the economic slowdown. Its fashion-forward image hurt it during the downturn as people didn't perceive Target as having the best prices.
But the retailer expanded its food offerings and began to emphasize low prices in its advertising — two things that put it in direct competition with Walmart. It also started a 5 percent discount program for those who use its branded credit or debit cards.
But its focus on prices and groceries cost it some cachet, and performance has been choppy. The latest results show that Target seems to have found the right balance between offering low prices and boosting its offering of fashion merchandise. Revenue at stores open at least a year rose 2.9 percent, roughly in line with Wall Street estimates.
This holiday shopping season, both discounters will catere to their different customers.
Walmart last week said it will offer deeper discounts and a broader assortment of merchandise.
Target, on the other hand, is trying to appeal to higher-end shoppers.
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