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Target believes it ‘turned the corner’ on home categories

Minneapolis – Target is “pleased” with the progress it’s made so far this in home furnishings, according to president Gregg Steinhafel.

“We are focusing on getting our good-better-best balance more appropriately in line and better segmentation and lifestyle merchandising,” Steinhafel said during Target’s third quarter conference call today. “And we have seen continued strengthening of our home businesses through the year, so we are very bullish that we have turned the corner there and will continue to see positive results in all of our home categories.”

Leveraging its Target.com site, the retailer has created a new online capability, “Find it at a Target store,” that allows shoppers to check the availability of items before making a trip to their neighborhood store.

Steinhafel said the Thanksgiving circular will debut Limited Time Only Gifts, to include “collector items and unique nationally branded goods which are available in limited quality.”

Come the post-holiday slow down, Target hopes to keep stores trafficked with an altered Global Bazaar program that Steinhafel described as “more compelling” than the program’s first two years. “We’re going to focus differently than where we have in the past,” he said. “We’re focusing on greater affordability, more category and item dominance, more color impact, and a little less country-of-origin and artisan uniqueness. It will be slightly more affordable, more appealing, and still have a great assortment for our consumer.”

Target reportedthird-quarter earnings per share of $0.59, up 20.4% over EPS of $0.49 for the same period one year ago. Sales were $13.6 billion, up 11.2% from $12.2 billion a year ago. Comp sales grew 4.6%.

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