Mass Retailer

Eye on Retail: Target hikes minimum hourly wage — again

BY Marianne Wilson

Target Corp. is increasing its starting pay as retailers continue to grapple with a tight labor market for hourly workers.

The discounter is bumping its minimum hourly wage to $13 starting in June as part of its goal to hit $15 an hour by the end of 2020. This is Target’s third pay increase since fall 2017, when the company announced its $15 an hour goal and raised hourly pay from $10 to $11. In 2018, Target bumped its minimum wage up to $12. The retailer credited the lift with helping it to achieve its seasonal hiring goal of 120,000 workers.

“We were able to start them all at $12 or more—and that helped us reach 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,” Melissa Kremer, Target’s chief human resources officer, said in a post on Target’s blog on the company’s site. “It made a big difference, and our holiday results clearly show what an excellent job they did!”

Target’s new $13 an hour minimum is well above the federal minimum of $7.25, which was last increased in 2009. And while it is still higher than the nation’s largest private employer, Walmart, which increased its minimum wage to $11 an hour in January 2018. But it is below Amazon, which raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour in November. More recently, in March, warehouse club giant Costco said it has raised starting wages for store workers from $14 to $15 an hour. It is Costco’s second wage increase in less than a year.

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