Superstorm Sandy depressed traffic and sales at Target stores for the four weeks ending last Saturday.
Target, the nation's second-largest discount chain, posted a 1-percent decline in same-store sales. The company's share price dropped as much as 3 percent in trading shortly after the announcement. Same-store sales are a key indicator of a retailer's growth because new and closed sites are excluded from the calculation.
Target said sales were weaker-than-planned in the first two weeks of the month, as the Northeast started to try to recover from Sandy. The superstorm, which may have caused $50 billion in damage, closed stores and cut spending in the Northeast after making landfall Oct. 29.
One analyst expects the storm may have depressed U.S. retail sales in November, which normally benefit from holiday sales promotions. Sales at Macy's and the Gap have also fallen short of forecasts.