Target is cutting nearly 500 jobs within its worldwide workforce and is not filling another 700 open positions.
The job cuts will hit company-wide and could include operations in India. But they exclude office workers in Canada, where Target has a major expansion underway.
It's not clear how many of the cuts affect Target's headquarters in Minneapolis. Company spokeswoman Molly Snyder said a small percentage of the 11,000 workers there are getting pink slips. Most of the employees will be on the payroll for at least 45 days and will receive comprehensive severance packages based on their years of service, she said.
For a company with more than 360,000 employees the 475 job cuts are relatively small, but not much of a surprise, given the company's struggles lately.
Earlier this month, Target said sales were "meaningfully weaker than expected" after the retailer disclosed a massive theft of customer data.
But Snyder said the layoffs are "not in response, or related to, the data breach."
Brian Yarbrough, a consumer research analyst at brokerage EdwardJones, thinks that's credible.
"I don't think that it was because of the data breach 100 percent," Yarbrough said. "That could've added to it."
Cyber thieves pilfered information like credit card numbers and email addresses of tens of millions of Target customers last November. The theft prompted some shoppers to steer clear of Target at the key shopping season. As a result, the company lowered its fourth quarter forecast for stores open at least a year by about 3 percent.
But there were troubles before that. Yarborough said over the last few quarters, Target's U.S. sales growth has failed to meet expectations. He said the company's poor performance in Canada is cutting into profits.
Target's chief executive, Gregg Steinhafel recently told CNBC that Target opened 124 stores in Canada last year. That was a record number of store openings for the retailer in such a short period of time.
Steinhafel admitted shoppers up north haven't exactly thronged the stores.
"Our big challenge is going to be how...we break their weekly shopping habits to other retailers," Steinhafel said. "So it's that frequency business and that weekly trip that we're going to work hard to try to get that conversion to Target."
Ken Perkins, an analyst at Morningstar, said it would be premature for the company to start downsizing in Canada.
"Since they're already in the ramp-up phase, there would have to be something that went materially wrong for them to think about cutting people this early in the game without even a full year's worth of sales data," he said.
But Perkins said more cuts could be in the offing at Target.
Snyder, the spokeswoman, did not rule out that possibility, though she said Target "does not have any additional plans to share at this point."