Target boosts employee pay during coronavirus crisis

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Friday, March 20, 2020
Mom creates Target, Starbucks playsets for 3-year-old daughter
A Mom created a Target-themed playroom for her 3-year-old daughter.

MINNEAPOLIS -- Target is temporarily boosting pay for its hourly employees working on the frontlines to help keep American households stocked through the coronavirus outbreak.

The Minneapolis-based retailer said Friday that it would raise wages by $2 an hour at least through May 2. Target's 20,000 store team leads will receive bonuses up to $1,500 in April.

The company is also offering paid leave to its team members who are at an increased risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. The offer extends to those who are 65 or older, those who are pregnant or those with underlying medical conditions.

In addition, Target announced a $1 million donation to a fund to support employees impacted by the coronavirus.

"Families across the country are counting on Target in so many ways during this pandemic, and our team has been nothing short of remarkable," said Cornell. "The commitments we're making today will provide additional resources for our most valuable asset-our team, their families and the communities impacted by the coronavirus," Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a news release.

Retailers big and small are hiring more workers, paying overtime and limiting purchases on certain high demand items as they scramble to restock shelves that have been wiped out by panic shopping in response to the global viral pandemic.

Amazon said Tuesday that it will only accept shipments from suppliers of cleaning equipment, medical supplies and household goods at its warehouses for the next three weeks to fill surging demand. It is hiring 100,000 people across the U.S. to keep up with a crush of orders as more people stay at home and shop online. It will also temporarily raise pay by $2 an hour through the end of April for hourly employees.

Many grocers are also limiting purchases of products like Purell sanitizers, Lysol cleaning spray and canned soup so that there is enough to go around. And companies like Walmart, Target and Wegman's are curbing store hours for the public in order to give workers time to restock shelves.

The moves come as industry executives insist supply chains remain strong despite frustrated customers showing up to stores and sometimes walking away empty-handed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.