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Retail Briefs

Dec. 23 Wal-Mart's Biggest Shopping Day

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recorded its biggest shopping day of the year on Dec. 23, not Dec. 24 as it had expected.

John Menzer, who heads Wal-Mart's U.S. division, said more people took Friday off from work and headed to stores to pick up last-minute gifts. Demand for gift cards was particularly strong, and stores raced to display new merchandise by Dec. 26 to take advantage of customers redeeming cards.

Target Expects 4-5 Percent Comp Store Gain

Target Corp. reaffirmed its December sales forecast, saying it expects sales at stores open at least a year to grow 4 percent to 5 percent for the month.

“Based on actual sales at Target stores for the first four weeks of December combined with our outlook for the remaining week of the month, we expect comparable-store sales for the full month to be in line with our planned range,” the company said during a call.

Neiman Marcus Web Sales Climb 30 Percent

Web sales for The Neiman Marcus Group Inc. grew about 30 percent in the first quarter of fiscal 2006 to $79.3 million from about $61 million for the previous year, while overall sales increased 7.5 percent to $976.4 million from $907.9 million in Q1 2005.

Overall the Web accounted for 8 percent of total sales in Q1 2006 versus the same period in 2005 when e-commerce represented 7 percent of total sales.

In October, an investor group led by Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus LLC completed its acquisition of Neiman Marcus in a deal valued at $5.1 billion.

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