(CNN) — The holidays were not good for Target.
The retailer reported a sales gain of only 1.4% in November and December at stores open at least a year. That was below the company’s guidance for the period and well short of the 5.7% growth it had a year earlier.
While the company said it should still be able to hit its profit target for the fiscal fourth quarter, the sales report sent shares of Target down 8% in premarket trading.
Overall holiday sales had been reported to be strong this past year, as low unemployment helped spur consumer spending.
But Target, the nation’s third largest general retailer behind Walmart and Costco, is not the only traditional brick-and-mortar retailer to report struggles. Department store chain Macy’s announced last week that it would close 29 stores. JCPenney and Kohl’s also reported weak sales.
Target did enjoy a 19% bump in online sales. But it reported that several categories of goods had what it described as challenging.
“Continued strength in multiple categories was offset by softer-than-expected performance in key holiday categories including electronics, toys and portions of home [goods], which together account for approximately one-third of the company’s holiday season sales,” said its statement.
The company also announced a shake up of its executive ranks in the wake of the disappointing holiday sales.
Janna Potts, a 30-year veteran of the company, is retiring as executive vice president and chief stores officer, to be replaced by Mark Schindele, a 20-year veteran of the company himself. It also announced two chief merchandising officers. Christina Hennington will oversee merchandising for hardline and essentials, while Jill Sando will be in charge of merchandising for style and owned brands.
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