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Wal-Mart sales rise 0.5% in October

From Times Wire Services

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported a 0.5% increase in sales for October, a disappointing performance that fell short of the retailer’s expectations.

For the four-week period that ended Oct. 27, company officials had revised their October expectations downward to 1%, from a range of 2% to 4%.

Wal-Mart Chief Executive H. Lee Scott Jr. told analysts last week that the company had overloaded its stores with too much trendy merchandise, including its new fashion line, Metro 7.

The preliminary sales report for October represents an increase from the same month last year and applies to sales at stores in operation at least a year.

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Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, will issue a more complete sales report Thursday.

Target Corp., the second-largest U.S. discount chain, said it expected a 3% to 5% October same-store sales gain.

The International Council of Shopping Centers has forecast a 3% increase for the retailers it monitors.

In September, Wal-Mart had a same-store sales gain of 1.3%, compared with a 6.7% increase at Target.

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