Sales at Target stores open at least a year -- an important measure of a retailer's health -- rose 2.1 percent in September as shoppers picked up back-to-school items and groceries.
Meanwhile, total sales for the five weeks that ended September 29 rose 2.6 percent to $6.1 billion.
Overall, analysts say spending was fairly strong for most retailers last month. That is an encouraging sign as merchants prepare for the upcoming winter holiday season.
The National Retail Federation expects sales for November and December to rise 4.1 percent. That would trail the growth rate in each of the past two years by more than a percentage point but would top the average over the past decade.
Target will stop reporting monthly sales when it begins a new budget year in February. The company says the vast majority of its peers in retail do not report monthly sales.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.