May 22 - Target's sales reached a disappointing $16.7 billion in the first quarter, leading the discount retailer to cut its full-year profit target. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Your Daily Digit today is $16.7 billion - that's Target's sales figure in the first quarter. It's a disappointing number that brings down earnings and makes the company cut full-year profit forecasts. Reason? Cold weather. Shoppers didn't feel compelled to splurge on new spring clothes, and things like fans and garden supplies; especially given paychecks got smaller at the beginning of the year as the government nixed a payroll tax holiday. Analysts note this is Target's weakest quarterly same-store sales performance since the Great Recession year of 2009. Target had warned in April its first-quarter results would be weaker than anticipated, but its numbers were even worse than lowered Wall Street expectations. And the pressure is not limited to Target. Last week, Wal-Mart and Kohl's posted unexpected declines at stores opened at least a year. And on Wednesday, Lowe's reported weaker-than-expected quarterly profit, hurt by the chilly weather as well as competition from larger rival Home Depot.