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Target Corp. says it will hire 130,000 season employees to meet the holiday shopping rush.

NEW YORK — Target is making its largest foray into a private food label next month as it attempts to energize grocery sales.

On Sept. 15, 650 products will appear on store shelves under the brand "Good & Gather." That will expand to 2,000 products by late next year.

Target, which has three Lincoln locations, is phasing out its house food brands, called Archer Farms and Simply Balanced, and reducing its Market Pantry line. The company expects that Good & Gather to be a multi-billion dollar business by the end of next year.

The goods sold under the new brand range from pastas and meat to milk and eggs. Target said Monday that the products will not have artificial flavors, synthetic colors, artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup.

The launch builds on Target's food and beverage business momentum, which includes seven straight quarters of sales growth at established stores and six straight quarters of market share growth with gains across almost every category of food.

It's also part of a broader effort to expand in house brands, such as the children's clothing label Cat & Jack and men's clothing brand Goodfellow & Co. By the end of 2019, Target will have more than 25 exclusive brands.

Industry analysts say Target has to become more competitive in the grocery aisles.

"The new label is a major step forward that introduces excitement and interest to the food department," says Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail. "Good & Gather both creates a more cohesive and compelling food offering as well as being a platform for the launch of some new and interesting lines which should entice consumers."

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