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Phillip Lim

Target's 1st-qtr profit drops 26 pct on weak sales as weather, financial pressures take toll

Target Corp. reported a 26 percent drop in first-quarter profit as cool temperatures and financial pressures limited customers' appetite for spending.The company, based in Minneapolis, also cut its annual profit outlook, sending its stock down in premarket trading.Target is the latest in a string of companies including rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that underscore how weather and other pressures have squeezed business in the first couple months of the year.Still, Target, whose sales growth has been uneven since the recession, remains confident in its strategies to attract shoppers.Target has reached out to customers with two big growth initiatives. It has been offering a larger selection of food and also a program, started in 2010, that gives shoppers a 5 percent discount when they pay with Target-branded credit and debit cards.At the same time, Target continues to team up with new designers for limited-time partnerships. Earlier this month, Target announced its latest designer collaborat...

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