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Target upbeat about holidays after 3Q climbs

Nov. 16, 2012 @ 12:15 AM

MINNEAPOLIS -- Target Corp. is optimistic heading into the critical holiday shopping season after a strong third quarter.

The holiday shopping season can make up 40 percent of a retailer's annual revenue -- and Target expects this year to be "highly competitive and promotional," said Kathryn Tesija, executive vice president of merchandising.

"For the holiday season, consumers anticipate spending slightly more than last year, but indicate they'll be focused on value, pricing and promotions," she said on a call with analysts.

The big-box retailer, known for its cheap but trendy merchandise, on Thursday reminded investors of the initiatives it's betting on for growth in the coming weeks, including a holiday collection partnership with luxury department store Neiman Marcus and a new online price matching program.

McDonald's ousts U.S. president after sales drop

NEW YORK -- McDonald's Corp. is hoping a leadership shake-up for its U.S. business will help it fight off intensifying competition.

The world's biggest hamburger chain said Thursday that Jan Fields, president of McDonald's USA, will be replaced by Jeff Stratton, its global chief restaurant officer, effective Dec. 1. The announcement comes less than a week after the fast-food giant reported its first monthly sales drop in nearly a decade.

A McDonald's spokeswoman said CEO Don Thompson and Fields are long-time friends and that they discussed the need for a change at the top. A number of business factors played a role in the decision, but recent sales figures were not among them, said Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem, a McDonald's spokeswoman.

Maker of hair care products to expand in Kentucky

FLORENCE, Ky. -- A global manufacturer of cosmetics and hair care products announced plans to add 211 jobs at its northern Kentucky plant, nearly doubling its workforce as part of a $42 million expansion project at the facility.

Eric Wolff, manager of the L'Oreal USA plant at Florence, said Thursday that the expansion will enable the company to meet increased consumer demand for hair care brands being produced in Kentucky.

L'Oreal currently has about 220 employees at the Florence plant and another 60 at its distribution center in Walton, said Daniel Lowry, a spokesman for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. The company plans to start hiring new plant workers in the first quarter of 2013 and will continue adding to its workforce into 2014, he said.