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Target Taking Greater Aim at Wal-Mart

Target Corp. is adjusting its approach in a way that may make the retailer more like successful rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Target plans to place greater emphasis on food, health-care products, personal items and other necessities, while offering fewer discretionary items to avoid big markdowns that have hobbled its earnings.

Target executives layed out plans for the new strategy during a conference call with analysts after posting a 41% drop in fourth-quarter net income on weak sales and a withered credit-card operation.

"We plan to further enhance our assortment of dry, dairy and frozen [food products], and add perishable items in new and remodeled general-merchandise stores," President and Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel said.

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