NEW YORK — With help from a solid back-to-school season, Target breezed past Wall Street expectations for the third quarter and raised a key sales outlook for the critical holiday season.

The cheap-chic retailer still saw declines in store traffic and in its central sales measure, but they were less than expected and better than the previous quarter, and Target raised its annual profit outlook. Its shares rose more than 7 percent.

Target has been trying to get back on track with the second part of its “Expect More, Pay Less” slogan and address the issues that dragged down its business this summer. It’s still working on grocery and electronics departments, key areas to attract shoppers.

For the holiday shopping season, Target is hoping to lure shoppers with a Broadway-style marketing campaign and more exclusive toys. But it’s also focusing on value. About 60 percent of Target’s marketing messages this holiday season will be about value, up about 20 percent from the last year.

“I’m really excited about our holiday merchandising and marketing plans, and I’m confident that our outstanding team will bring those plans to life,” CEO Brian Cornell said.