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Target January sales rise nearly 30%

BY Alaric DeArment

MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. reported net sales of nearly $6 billion in January, the company said Thursday.

The mass merchandise retailer reported sales of $5.97 billion, a 29.6% increase over the $4.6 billion reported in January 2012. Comps for the period, which ended Saturday, increased 3.1%.

"January comparable-store sales were in line with our expectations as guests responded to clearance prices on holiday inventory," Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said. "Our guests continue to shop with discipline in the face of a slow economic recovery and new pressures, including recent payroll tax increases. As a result, we remain focused on providing unbeatable value combined with a superior guest experience in both our stores and digital channels."

Sales for the quarter to date were $22.37 billion, a 6.8% increase over last year, while year-to-date sales were $71.96 billion, a 5.1% increase over last year.

 

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Sam’s Club offering heart health screenings

BY Alaric DeArment

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam’s Club will offer free heart health screenings at 563 of its stores on Saturday, the club retailer said.

The screenings, taking place at stores with pharmacies, will include tests valued at up to $100 for glucose, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index and vision screenings.

"Sam’s Club reinforces our commitment to health and wellness by educating our communities about the importance of a healthy heart," Sam’s Club SVP health and wellness Jill Turner-Mitchael said. "In honor of February’s Heart Health Awareness Month, free Sam’s Club health screenings offer individuals the opportunity to manage their heart health by first learning where they stand with several cardiovascular disease risk factors."


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Rite Aid promotes Valentine’s Day shopping for women

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is promoting itself as a Valentine’s Day shopping destination for women, the retail pharmacy chain said.

"History has shown us that, at more than a week to go, women are buying the majority of greeting cards, plush toys and other sentimental gifts that their families so look forward to receiving on Valentine’s Day," Rite Aid EVP merchandising Tony Montini said. "We’ve got everything on her list, making for a convenient and stress-free shopping experience, as well as a few surprises yet to come for the men who’ve yet to start their shopping."

According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, women will spend an average of $88.74 for Valentine’s Day this year.

Rite Aid touted items like American Greetings cards, particularly the Premier line, and interactive Facebook greetings, video craft tutorials and a Twitter contest. For that contest, starting Feb. 11, people following the company’s Twitter handle @riteaid can retweet #ShareTheLove for a chance to win a mystery gift, the company said.

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