Target, the nation’s second-largest chain of discount stores, announced it will permanently raise the starting employee wage to $15 beginning July 5th. The chain had promised to raise wages to $15 an hour by the end of 2020.
On top of that, Target is giving front-line team members in stores and distribution centers a one-time recognition bonus of $200 to thank them for providing essential services to customers throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
With the changes announced, Target will invest nearly $1 billion more this year in the well-being, health and safety of team members than it did in 2019, including increased wages, paid leaves, bonus payouts, personal protective equipment, and a donation to the Target Team Member Giving Fund.
“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 Brian Cornell, Chairman and CEO of Target Corporation. “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.”
The wage increase builds on Target’s history of investing in team member pay and benefits. In September 2017, the chain first announced plans to pay employees $15 an hour by the end of 2020. Over the past three years, Target has increased wages in one-dollar increments from a starting pay of $11.
Meanwhile, the one-time $200 recognition bonus will be distributed at the end of July to eligible full-time and part-time hourly team members at both stores and distribution centers. It’s on top of bonuses of $250 to $1,500 paid out in April to 20,000 hourly store team leads who oversee individual departments in Target stores.
Target has also worked to meet employees’ needs amid the coronavirus pandemic, with a $2 temporary wage increase in March 2020, which was extended twice.
“The most important investments we make are in our team. I have tremendous gratitude for the way our team members show up with such purpose and pride for our guests, communities and one another,” said Melissa Kremer, Target’s Chief Human Resources Officer. “These investments help ensure that team members can build meaningful careers, take care of themselves and their families, and contribute to building our communities through their work inside and outside of Target.”