Target's key November sales figure falls 1 per cent, missing expectations

MINNEAPOLIS – Target says a key revenue figure fell one per cent in November, hurt by weak sales in the first two weeks of the month.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected a 2.1 per cent rise. Its shares fell 3 per cent in premarket trading.

The decline comes in the midst of the crucial two month holiday season, when retailers can make up to 40 per cent of annual revenue.

The Minneapolis-based company says total revenue for the four weeks ended Nov. 24 was nearly flat at $6.18 billion.

The company says weak sales early in the month offset stronger sales later. The South was its strongest region, while the Northeast, hard hit by Superstorm Sandy, was weaker.

Target Co. forecast a low-single digit percentage increase in December revenue at stores open at least one year.

The company is set to open its first Canadian stores next year, marking Target’s first expansion outside of the United States.