Target’s Aug. Sales Up; Hiring Starts in Canada

The retailer reported a 4.1 percent increase in August sales, and plans to hire "thousands" in Canada in the years ahead.

Minneapolis-based Target Corporation's same-store sales rose 4.1 percent in August-beating Wall Street estimates and falling in line with the company's own expectations.

Same-store sales refer to sales at stores that have been open for at least a year, and the figure serves as an industry barometer. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted a 3.5 percent increase in August.

Target said the increase was driven by strong back-to-school sales.

Net retail sales for the four weeks that ended on August 28 totaled $5.29 billion, representing a 5.4 percent jump from the same period last year.

Year-to-date, Target's same-store sales are up 3.1 percent and its net retail sales are up 4.1 percent to $36.77 billion.

Earlier this week, Target announced that it has started a hiring campaign in advance of its 2013 launch in Canada, promising to hire “thousands” of Canadians. The retailer launched a careers Web site on Tuesday as part of its plan to open 125 to 135 stores across the country, beginning in 2013.

The company expects to employ 100 people for corporate positions in its Canadian headquarters in Mississauga by the end of the year and more than 500 by launch time in 2013.

In addition, each store will likely hire 150 to 200 sales-floor staff, Target said. The company expects to start hiring for these positions in 2012.

“We will be welcoming thousands of Canadians to our team in the years ahead, and Target.ca/careers will help us connect with people who want to join Target and help us transition into the Canadian market,” Tiffany Monroe, vice president of human resources for Target Canada, said in a statement. “We are looking forward to meeting talented Canadians with a variety of skills, abilities, and backgrounds who will thrive in Target's collaborative, results-driven work environment.”

Target currently serves customers at 1,762 stores in 49 U.S. states and on its Web site. It is Minnesota's second-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $65.4 billion in its most recently completed fiscal year.