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Target to cut thousands of jobs over next two years

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 08:54
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US retail chain Target said on Tuesday it would slash thousands of jobs as it restructures to save US$2 billion over the next two years.

[NEW YORK] US retail chain Target said on Tuesday it would slash thousands of jobs as it restructures to save US$2 billion over the next two years.

The company made the announcement during an investors meeting, without specifying the number of jobs that will be eliminated.

"The restructuring will be concentrated at Target's headquarters locations," said the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based company in a statement.

Target Corp, which bills itself as an "upscale" discount retailer, has nearly 1,800 stores across the United States.

The chain has been struggling after millions of customers had their data stolen in a 2013 hacking attack and the company made an unsuccessful foray into Canada.

Board chairman and chief executive Brian Cornell, who joined the company last August, set out a restructuring programme on Tuesday aimed at cutting costs, with US$500 million targeted this year, and revamping operations, including a US$1 billion investment in technology and supply chain.

"Redefining Target will require a renewed emphasis on prioritization and innovation, and above all else, putting our guests first in everything we do," Mr Cornell said in the statement.

Part of the plan involves exiting Canada.

In January, Target announced that its Canadian subsidiary, which had filed for bankruptcy protection, would close all of its 133 stores, resulting in the loss of 17,600 jobs.

Mr Cornell at the time said that the company had not been able to find a way to make Target Canada profitable until at least 2021.

For 2015, Target projected sales growth of 2-3 per cent and earnings of US$4.45-4.65 per share, ahead of analysts' expectations of at best US$4.50.

Target shares closed 0.4 per cent higher at US$78.00.

AFP

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