By Daphne Howland
Source: Retail Dive
- Target on Monday said it plans to spend up to $300 million to boost wages and benefits. For employees at stores, supply chain facilities and corporate offices, the retailer will increase its starting hourly pay from $15 to a range between $15 and $24.
- The mass merchant is also making it easier for hourly workers to qualify for health benefits by lowering its minimum requirement from an average of 30 hours per week to 25, according to its press release. About 20% of its workforce will be newly eligible for such benefits.
- Target is also shortening the time workers must wait to avail themselves of health and retirement benefits. Most company medical plans will include “additional benefits, including virtual physical therapy at no cost, enhanced fertility benefits and other new wellness offerings,” the company said.
In 2017, Target announced it would boost its hourly starting wage to $15, and on Monday said that was accomplished nearly two years ago.
Now, with a tight labor market and some signs of strength in unionization efforts among retail employees, the mass merchant is stepping up further. The move stands in contrast to profitability measures in recent years that lead to a “less stable and less productive” workforce, according to Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.