Wage Race? Target Raises Minimum Hourly Pay, Matching Rivals

The retailer follows the lead of competitors, including Wal-Mart and T.J. Maxx, in boosting its minimum wage to $9 per hour.

Minimum wage workers at Target will soon see a boost in their hourly wage. The retailer is increasing its minimum wage to $9 an hour next month.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Target previously said it pays above the $7.25 federal minimum wage in all its stores, but it recently declined to say how many of its 350,000 employees the increased minimum wage will affect.

“We make sure we’re competitive in every marketplace in which we do business,” said Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman.

“As part of that, we regularly and continually evaluate the marketplace to make sure our wages are competitive.”

Target is the latest in a string of retailers to raise its minimum pay.

Wal-Mart announced in February an increase in its minimum wage to $9 per hour this year and $10 by Feb. 1, 2016. TJX Cos., the parent company of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, will pay a minimum of $9 per hour in June and $10 next year.

Gap employees will make a minimum of $10 per hour in June. Ikea also hiked its average minimum hourly wage in its U.S. stores to $10.76 in January.

“[Target’s] move comes in the face of pressure from labor groups and allies calling for a ‘living wage’ at retailers and fast-food companies across the country, as well as the lowest unemployment rate in more than six years,” Reuters said.

UltraViolet, a women’s advocacy group, recently conducted an online ad campaign near some Target stores, Reuters noted. The ad banner said: “Did you know there’s a Wal-Mart near you that pays higher minimum wage than Target?”

Craig Johnson, a retail analyst with Customer Growth Partners, told the Star Tribune that boosting wages can be important in retaining good employees:

“It’s the people. Anytime you invest a little bit more in your people, that’s a good thing, particularly where the people are a big part of the store experience.”

What do you think of retailers like Target raising the minimum wage? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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