MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. here said Wednesday that its store traffic was up in the first fiscal quarter compared with a year ago, even as rival Wal-Mart reported the exact opposite.
Target said most of its 2.8% gain comparable-store sales for the period, which ended May 1, were attributable to the 2.2% gain in comp-store traffic. Wal-Mart on Tuesday had reported a 1.1% decline in first-quarter comps, citing weaker traffic for the second consecutive quarter.
At Target, sales of high-margin items like apparel helped drive a 28.6% gain in net income, to $671 million, while retail sales grew about 5.5%, to $15.2 billion.
Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a conference call with analysts that the 200 stores that have been converted to its P-Fresh format with expanded food offerings are seeing more unit sales but lower average price per unit.
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