Target wants to be known as the best place to work in retail
With millions of Americans having filed for unemployment since March, it’s hard to say that the tight job market that favored workers just a few months ago will come back any time soon. Even with the odds seemingly favoring employers at the present time, Target announced that it is raising its starting minimum wage from $13 to $15 an hour beginning on July 5.
The retailer’s decision to raise its starting pay is following through on a commitment it initially made in September 2017. Like other retailers, Target has been paying its frontline workers $2 an hour extra since the coronavirus outbreak. In essence, the new starting wage will keep entry-level associates at the same pay rate as they have been used to getting.
Target also announced that it is paying a $200 bonus to all its frontline workers in stores and its distribution centers as a thank you for their efforts to get through the early months of the pandemic. The retailer said that the newly-announced bonus, which will be paid at the end of July, is in addition to the $250 to $1,500 bonuses it paid out to 20,000 hourly store team leaders in April.
“In the best of times, our team brings incredible energy and empathy to our work, and in harder times they bring those qualities plus extraordinary resilience and agility to keep Target on the forefront of meeting the changing needs of our guests and our business year after year,” said Target CEO Brian Cornell in a statement. “Everything we aspire to do and be as a company builds on the central role our team members play in our strategy, their dedication to our purpose and the connection they create with our guests and communities.”
Target also made public that it will provide some additional perks for workers, including free access to virtual health care visits, regardless of whether employees are enrolled in the company’s healthcare plan. The 24/7 service is being made available to associates through the end of December. Separately, the retailer is also offering team members free mental health counseling sessions.
Earlier this week, Target also said it is adding Juneteenth, June 19, as a corporate holiday. Workers at the chain’s corporate offices will receive the day off with pay, while those working in stores will be paid time-and-a-half. Juneteenth recognizes the day in 1865 when a military decree issued by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger informed slaves in Texas that they were free.
- Target Increases Starting Wage to $15; Thanks Frontline Team Members with Recognition Bonus – Target Corporation
- Fact Sheet: $15 Starting Wage and Frontline Bonus – Target Corporation
- Target Honors Juneteenth as Company Holiday – Target Corporation
- $13 an Hour and Climbing: How Target’s Rising Minimum Wage is Building a Stronger Business – Target Corporation
- Can Target afford to pay (not pay) a $15 minimum wage? – RetailWire
- Original ‘Juneteenth’ order found in the National Archives – The Washington Post
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How will Target’s higher minimum wage and other steps it has taken affect its associate recruiting and retention efforts and worker performance? How likely are Target’s competitors, notably Walmart, to follow by raising their minimum hourly wage to $15?