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Walmart to lose monthly insight into Target’s performance

Target this week joined the ranks of retailers who will no longer provide monthly sales and in the process denied Walmart merchants insight into the performance of a chief rival.

Target made the announcement in conjunction with the release of September sales results that saw comps increase 2.1%. The decision, which takes effect in 2013, wasn’t particularly surprising as the ranks of retailers, especially major ones, who report monthly numbers has been steadily shrinking now for several years. Walmart cut the cord several years ago and others have followed suit since, most notably J.C. Penney as it sought to avoid the glare of monthly scrutiny while attempting to execute a transformation strategy.

Aside from Costco, company’s who still report monthly are basically department store retailers such as Kohl’s, Macy’s, Dillard’s and Nordstrom and mall-based specialty apparel chains.

When all is said and done, Walmart and other industry players won’t really be losing any special insight as a result of Target’s decision because the company wasn’t saying much to begin with. For example, Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel offered this pearl of wisdom when September results were released: "We’re pleased with our sales results through the first two months of the quarter and believe we remain on-track to attain our third-quarter sales and profit goals."

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