Target cuts outlook as it sees fewer customers in stores

NEW YORK (AP) — Target Corp. cut its profit forecast and a key sales outlook Wednesday as it saw fewer customers in its stores and acknowledged it didn’t push the second part of its “Expect More, Pay Less” slogan.The Minneapolis-based discounter’s second-quarter net income fell nearly 10 percent, though that was better than what most had expected. Sales at stores open at least a year fell 1.1 percent, reversing seven straight quarters of gains. Its main competitor, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., reports results Thursday.

Target’s shares fell $4.74, or 6 percent, to $70.74 in afternoon trading.Customer traffic fell for the first time in a year and a half as Target struggled to get its grocery offerings right and shoppers looking for deals on essentials like detergent were turned off. Other issues, both company-specific and industrywide, ranged from a lack of new electronics for sale and lingering disruptions caused by the sale last year of its pharmacy business to CVS.

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