Target will raise its minimum wage to $13 an hour starting in June, the retailer announced Thursday. The increase serves as the latest move toward a goal Target set in 2017 to reach a $15 minimum wage by the end of 2020.
The first step came in October of 2017, when minimum wage was set to $11. Last year, it was kicked up one dollar to $12 an hour.
“Target has a long history of investing in our team members,” Target CEO and chairman Brian Cornell said at the time of the goal announcement. “With this latest commitment, we’ll be providing even more meaningful pay, as well as the tools, training and support our team needs to build their skills, develop professionally and offer the service and expertise that set Target apart.”
The initial uptick in wages was rolled out just before the 2017 holiday season for which the Minneapolis-based retailer planned to bring on 100,000 temporary workers—and Cornell asserted the increase would apply to them as well.
Melissa Kremer, Target’s Chief Human Resources Officer since a domino-effect series of promotions in January, says the wage changes have already made an impact not just on employees, but also on the business itself.
One example she notes is the 2018 holidays, when Target set out to hire 120,000 seasonal staff members. Kremer says the $12 an hour starting wage brought more applicants, quicker than usual.
“[We reached] our seasonal hiring goal ahead of schedule, which gave our teams a lot of extra time to train and prepare for our busiest season of the year,” Kremer says. “It made a big difference, and our holiday results clearly show what an excellent job they did!”
The Target minimum wage increase goal is touted as part of the company’s commitment to investing in the careers and well-being of their employees. As laid out in the 2017 announcement, other efforts include offering some reimbursement for GED certificates, and undergraduate, graduate and master’s degrees, having a culture of promotion in which 1 in 4 store leaders began as hourly team members, and providing employees with 24/7 access to nurse, mental health support, and financial and legal counseling services.
Kremer says Target recognizes employees as its greatest assets. “They’re at the heart of everything we do to fulfill our purpose of bringing guests joy. So investing in our team members is essential to keep our business growing and thriving.”