May 21 - Target's earnings fell in the latest quarter amid inventory problems at its Canadian unit and lower comparable store sales in the U.S. Fred Katayama reports
Losses from its struggling Canadian operations bit into Target's earnings in the latest quarter. Goods flooded its Canadian warehouses faster than they went out, and many store shelves were empty, creating massive inventory problems. The retailer took steps to clear that inventory, and it has fired the person who headed those operations. It wasn't much rosier in the U.S. Comparable store sales slipped after the hacking attack that struck the retailer during the crucial holiday shopping season. Target spent millions of dollars to deal with the credit card data breach that scared many shoppers. Target cut its profit estimate for the full year. In a tough quarter for retailers, its rival, Wal-mart, last week said profit could decline. There were some signs of a turnaround. The company said store traffic was much better than the previous quarter, and that dip in same-store sales was much less than analysts had feared.