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November 19, 2012

A tale of 2 discounters shows split in economy

  • Wal-Mart and Target's forecasts solidify a trend: Well-heeled shoppers are spending more, while lower-income shoppers keep a firm grip on their wallet.
    AP Retail Writer

    NEW YORK — This holiday season, the biggest discount chains in the U.S. will tell the tale of two very different shoppers: those that have and those that have not.

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, has acknowledged that its low-income shoppers continue to struggle in the economy when it issued an outlook for the fourth quarter — which encompasses the holiday shopping period — that fell below Wall Street estimates. On the same day last week, its smaller rival Target Corp., which caters to more affluent shoppers, said it expects results during the quarter to exceed the Street's projections.

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