The Target Corp. announced Monday an hourly minimum wage hike to $11 beginning next month, followed by an increase to $15 by 2020. The new policy also will apply to 100,000 seasonal workers it is hiring for the upcoming holiday shopping season.
Target said the moves are part of efforts to recruit and retain employees and provide better service to customers and communities.
As part of their "Fight for Fifteen" movement, unions are now pushing for raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour across industries, as it is considered to be a "living wage" by labor advocates.
The CEO said Target factored the total unspecified wage increases into its sales and earnings outlooks.
On average, Target employs 160 team members per store and offers them career planning and development opportunities. Executives said higher labor costs are consistent with previously announced plans to invest in the company's future, which include sinking $7 billion over three years to update stores, beef up its digital strategy, improve the supply chain and introduce more exclusive brands.
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The number of retail job openings has steadily increased since 2010 and the national unemployment rate is at its lowest point in the last 16 years, making it more hard for retailers to hire sufficient numbers of temporary holiday workers.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Chains such as Costco Wholesale Corp. also have boosted wages, while states like MA and Washington have established $11 an hour as the going rate for all workers.
Target's new wage of $11 an hour puts it higher than the minimum wage in 48 states.
Many other retailers have offered competitive minimum wages over the years.
The controversial House Bill 2, repealed last spring, explicitly forbade local governments from setting their own minimum wages.
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