Big-box retailer Target reported on Wednesday that sales rose 2.1 percent in the most recent quarter as more shoppers came to its stores and bought items from departments that the chain has been focused on revamping, including kids apparel and wellness-oriented food items.

And yet comparable sales grew at a slower rate and its e-commerce sales growth was far below the company’s own goal, suggesting that the retailer still has some work to do as it shows early signs of a turnaround.

Target has been on a mission to improve its product offering and display that merchandise in more eye-catching ways throughout its 1,805 U.S. stores. This strategy appears to be helping it ring up stronger sales: For example, it has started adding mannequins to its apparel section and has found that outfits showcased this way see an average sales increase of 30 percent.

Under chief executive Brian Cornell, Target has concentrated on doing better in the style, baby, kids and wellness categories, and the retailer saw sales grow 2.5 times faster in these areas than the company average. Target raised the lower end of its earnings forecast for the year, a decision chief financial officer Cathy Smith said was based on optimism about how sales will shape up in the crucial holiday season.

And yet the chain’s stock was down more than 5 percent in mid-day trading Wednesday, likely because investors thought the results had some weak spots. While comparable sales were up 1.9 percent, the retailer saw stronger growth on this measure in the previous three quarters. Target also saw just 20 percent growth in its e-commerce business, a channel in which it said previously it would like to see 30 percent growth this quarter. Over the long-term, it is shooting for 40 percent growth in online, which currently draws only 2.7 percent of its total sales.

Target said profits grew by 56 percent, to $549 million, helped largely by the tax treatment of investment losses in Canada. Target’s adjusted earnings per share, a metric watched by investors, was 86 cents a share, an increase on 8.6 percent from the same quarter last year. Profits from continuing operations fell to 76 cents a share, down from 82 percent. Revenue totaled $17.6 billion, compared to $17.3 for the same period a year ago.

This holiday season, Target hopes to win over shoppers with a new approach to its bonanza of discounts. The retailer is offering 10 days of category-specific deals beginning Nov. 22. It also hopes to boost its online sales by offering free shipping on all orders during the season.