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Target to keep many stores open later for night owl shoppers

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Target is gearing up for the holiday shopping season by keeping many of its stores open later, hoping to keep up with competitors.

More than half of the Minneapolis-based retailer's 1,800 U.S. stores will stay open later starting this month, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Target's typical hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (9 p.m. on Sundays), but the new hours will keep the stores open until 11 p.m. or midnight (10 p.m. or 11 p.m. Sundays), the newspaper says.

The hours will vary by store, and some stores will only have extended hours on the weekends. It's not known what stores in Minnesota will be open later.

These extended hours will be in effect through the holidays, then they'll be evaluated, the Wall Street Journal says.

Target spokesman Eric Hausman told the Wall Street Journal there's a "really big opportunity" in keeping the stores open later, noting shoppers had asked for later hours and there were often a lot of people in stores near closing time.

Labor Department's American Time Use Survey shows that relatively few customers shop at those late hours, but retailers are looking to capture as much traffic as possible and keep up with their competition. Target's rival, Wal-Mart, keeps the majority of its stores open 24 hours a day, while other shoppers have turned to the convenience of online shopping instead.

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This is just the latest step the retailer has taken to woo back customers after a public relations nightmare from the massive data breach the company experienced in December, in addition to its flagging sales and disappointing expansion into the Canadian market, which was plagued with supply-chain problems. Target recently announced its plans to revive its Canadian operations.

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