We’ve seen the sales figures for months now, but this article nicely illustrates just how badly Target has gotten slapped around by Wal-Mart over the last year, especially in November when the former saw a same-store sales decline of 10.4% compared with Wal-Mart’s 3.4% gain.Piper Jaffray analyst Jeffrey Klinefelter puts it well: “It’s the aspirational, trade-up customer who’s got slightly above-average household income that has really been affected by housing issues. This is the population that Target has just owned, and their struggles are throwing off Target’s formula.”The Minneapolis Star Tribune goes on to say that there is nothing particularly wrong with how Target is operating, it’s just that its core consumer is facing really tough times.We went into our local Target, near Downtown Brooklyn, over the weekend. It kind of felt like what we would imagine shopping in a Soviet-bloc country would have been like, except messier. Merchandise was strewn all over the place, and the shelves were ravaged, with whole sections of products not restocked. Lines were epic.To their credit, though, employees were friendly and seemed to be doing all they could. The place was totally mobbed, but you’d think on one of the remaining Saturdays before Christmas they’d be better prepared.We’re just glad they weren’t selling $99 iPhones.

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