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Target's Strategic Initiatives

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Target Corporation (TGT), the operator of general merchandise and food discount stores in the United States, announced a string of measures to enhance its long-term growth prospects.

The company is strengthening its position in regions where it generates strong sales. Target announced the opening of its new store in Huntington, New York. The new 150,000 square feet store is slated to open in October 2013 and would hire 250 employees. So far, the company has announced its plans to open 17 Target stores in 2013.

The expansion of its store base facilitates the company to effectively penetrate into its target markets and gain a competitive advantage over its peers.

Alongside, Target is seeking promising expansion opportunities in international markets such as Canada and Latin America and revealed its plans to introduce smaller-format stores called CityTarget, similar to that of its biggest rival, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT). The company will open its first store in Canada in 2013.

Moreover, Target announced its year-round price matching policy with the aim of offering its patrons the facility to match the prices being offered by online retail giants.

The company will match prices with Amazon.com Inc.’s (AMZN) Amazon.com, Wal-Mart’s Walmart.com, Best Buy Co. Inc.’s (BBY) BestBuy.com, and Toysrus.com. Target believes that its price matching policy coupled with REDcard reward program would provide it an edge over its competitors.

Target is also focusing on store renovations and adding latest products and services to enhance the shoppers’ experience, which in turn facilitates it in improving store sales productivity.

The company announced that it has selected Brightstar and MarketSource as the new service partners for Target Mobile. The company stated that the new partnership will boost its position in the wireless retail marketplace.

Going forward, the company expects its fourth quarter earnings to meet or exceed the lower end of its earlier announced guidance range of $1.64 – $1.74 per share. Moreover, the company expects low single-digit increase in its January comps.

Currently, we prefer to have a long-term ‘Neutral’ recommendation on the stock. Moreover, Target holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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