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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Target cuts jobs worldwide, Canada not affected by 'streamlining'

MINNEAPOLIS - Target Corp. says it's letting go 475 employees worldwide.

The retailer, based in Minneapolis, also said it has eliminated 750 open positions over the last six months.

None of the cuts affect Canada.

Most of Target's employees are in the United States, where the company had more than 360,000 according to a regulatory filing last year. There are 20,000 employees in Canada.

A spokesperson for Target Canada said the changes made were about "transforming Target and streamlining our operating model."

The move comes almost two weeks after Target lowered its fourth-quarter profit outlook as it grapples with the fallout of a massive security breach.

The company (NYSE:TGT) was planning on big holiday sales, but instead was victimized by the data breach that hurt its image and stock prices and sent shoppers elsewhere.

Target warned this week that the security may also have affected Canadian customers and led to their personal information being stolen.

Target said its investigation found that personal information — like the names, addresses, emails and phone numbers of some Canadians — may have been stolen. The breach did not extend to payment data for the debit and credit cards of Canadians, which is what was taken from U.S. customers, it said.

Target moved into Canada early last year with much fanfare, but complaints about price differences with the U.S. and trouble keeping shelves stocked dampened enthusiasm for the retailer.

In the United States, Target also said moved this week to cut health care coverage for its part-time workers, citing new options now available through health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.

— With files from the Canadian Press.

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