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Andrea Felsted

Target’s Having a Much Harder Time Than Walmart

Target needs to meet its second-half forecast to bring some “Tarjay” magic to investors — and there's little room for error.

Target missed the mark.

Target missed the mark.

Photo Illustration: Jessica Karl, Getty Images

If Walmart Inc. signaled better times ahead for the broader economy, Target Corp.’s profit collapse is a reminder that battered big-box stores aren’t in the clear yet.

On Wednesday, Target laid bare the damage from marking down its mountain of inventory, with an almost 90% slump in second-quarter profits. That’s in stark contrast to Walmart’s forecast on Tuesday that earnings wouldn’t fall as much as expected when it warned on profit last month. Target shares declined as much as 5% in early trading.