Target hits bull's-eye, Wal-Mart misses

Trendy merchandise, partnerships with well-known designers such as Isaac Mizrahi and new store concepts have been instrumental in pushing Target's profits up 15% in the first quarter, beating analysts' projections. Wal-Mart, plagued by high gas prices as its "core of middle- and lower-end consumers" made less trips to its stores, said it would miss its profit forecast. A UBS analyst says Wal-Mart "need[s] to get committed to the middle-income customer," to improve its sales.

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