Target Fast-Tracks Plan to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour

Target Fast-Tracks Plan to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour

The retailer promised to hit the $15 an hour mark by the end of the year.

Target Corp. next month will make good on its promise to boost its minimum wage to $15 an hour, the company announced Wednesday.

The Minneapolis-based retailer in fall 2017 first pledged to reach the $15 an hour mark. At the time, Target increased its minimum wage to $11 an hour and promised to hit $15 an hour by the end of 2020.

Alongside the hourly wage increase, the company said it will provide one-time $200 bonuses to all front-line staffers and distribution center workers. That’s in addition to a slate of April bonuses given to store team leads. The latest bonuses will be disbursed at the end of July to eligible part- and full-time employees, the retailer said in a news release.

So far this year, the company has paid $1 billion more in employee “well-being, safety, and health” than it did in 2019, Target officials noted.

“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,” said chairman and CEO Brian Cornell.

During the company’s first quarter, Cornell said Target spent about $500 million in total on pandemic-related expenses, including store cleanings and child care for employees. The lingering financial impact of Covid-19 remains to be seen, though early signs point to a significant decline in earnings, even for big-box retailers like Target. In the first quarter, for instance, Target’s net income dropped by more than 60 percent, even as digital sales skyrocketed.

Meanwhile, Target on Wednesday also said it will extend virtual health care options to all employees, even if they’re not covered under the company’s health insurance plan. In addition, the retailer said it will provide free counseling services for employees amid Covid-19 and ongoing social unrest.