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Target Hires Ad Agency Executive Jeffrey Jones As Marketing Chief

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Target Corp. (TGT) named Jeffrey J. Jones II executive vice president and chief marketing officer, putting a former advertising agency executive in charge of its campaigns. The discount retailer said Jones, 44 years old, was partner and president of McKinney, an advertising agency based in Durham, N.C. Prior to McKinney, Jones held several leadership positions at Gap Inc. (GPS), including chief marketing officer. Former Target Chief Marketing Officer Michael Francis left the company in October to become president of J.C. Penney Co. (JCP). Target, the nation's second-largest retailer by sales behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), has struggled as consumers, particularly lower-end shoppers, tightly manage spending in the face of higher gasoline prices and food costs. The company has looked to boost sales by adding fresh groceries at stores in an effort to draw in customers for these items and then have them move on to its other departments. Target in February reported its fiscal fourth-quarter revenue rose 3% though earnings slipped 5.2% as the company wrestled with muted sales during the critical holiday selling season. Shares closed Friday at $58.27 and were inactive premarket. The stock has risen 14% so far this year. -By Melodie Warner, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2283;

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