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Target lays off 475 employees

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Target Corp. is laying off 475 employees, although it was not immediately clear in which divisions and locations, the Pioneer Press reports.

The Business Journal also noted that Target employees were told Wednesday that 475 employees were being laid off at the retailer's operations worldwide. The Star Tribune reported that sources said the vast majority of the 475 employees worked at Target's downtown Minneapolis corporate headquarters. The newspaper also reported that another 700 open positions at the company will not be filled.

Employees were called Wednesday to mandatory 15-minute private meetings, the Pioneer Press reports.

Few details about what prompted the cuts were immediately available. In a statement, Target said, "Target continually assesses our operating model to ensure we are well-positioned to adapt to changing business needs. ... We believe these decisions, while difficult, are the right actions as we continue to focus on transforming our business."

In the last year, Target has suffered sagging profits and slower-than-expected sales growth.

The last few months have been particularly rough for the battered retailer, still reeling from a holiday shopping-season data breach that affected up to 110 million credit and debit card users. The breach hurt sales in the all-important fourth quarter, the company reported.

On Tuesday, Target stock tanked to a 52-week low, and shares were down again Wednesday for the retailer. Target this week also announced a cost-cutting measure that would cut health insurance for part-time workers.

Target in October had laid off about 150 of its roughly 12,000 Twin Cities corporate employees as the company sought more efficiencies.

Chatter about the Wednesday layoffs initially leaked out earlier in morning on the discussion board, and on Twitter:

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