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The recognition pay includes $500 bonuses to all hourly workers in stores, distribution centers, and corporate and field-based offices, Target said.

Target to pay out $200 million in employee bonuses

Investment marks fifth round of pandemic-related ‘thank you’ payments

Following a strong holiday season — and a difficult year working under a national pandemic — Target Corp. is investing $200 million in employee recognition bonuses across its operations.

Target said Monday that it plans to pay $500 bonuses to all hourly workers in stores, distribution centers, and corporate and field-based offices. Also, all store directors, executive team leaders and salaried distribution center leaders — about 12,000 people in total — will receive bonuses of $1,000 to $2,000. 

“We’re so proud of our team. They’re the heart and soul of Target, showing up for one another and our guests — and making Target a safe and easy place to shop and work. And never has their dedication, resiliency, care and compassion been more appreciated than during the pandemic,” Target stated in announcing the bonuses, noting that 2020 was “a year unlike any other.”

The $200 million investment marks the fifth time that Minneapolis-based Target has given bonuses to frontline workers or team leaders since the COVID-19 outbreak.

In April, Target announced bonuses ranging from $250 to $1,500 for 20,000 hourly store team leads, who oversee individual departments in Target stores. The bonuses were part of a $300 million package of paid leave and employee relief benefits plus a $2 hourly wage increase through May 2. Then in mid-June, Target unveiled plans to permanently raise its starting hourly wage to $15, effective July 5, via an upgraded and extended pay and benefits package for its U.S. workforce. The retailer also announced a $200 “recognition bonus” to be paid at the end of July to frontline store and distribution center hourly workers, including full- and part-time staff, for their efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. Also in July, Target paid out performance bonuses to all store directors, executive team leaders and salaried distribution center leaders.

Most recently, in October, Target announced $200 bonuses for 350,000 hourly frontline workers in stores and distribution centers, including seasonal hires, and in customer and employee contact centers. The company said the bonus round, paid out by early November, represented a $70 million-plus employee investment heading into the holiday season.

“Over the last year, this team has stepped up in remarkable ways,” Target Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell said in a video announcing the new bonuses. “You are the backbone of our success,” he added. “Our teams have stepped up again and again, despite the challenges, to serve our guests and to serve America.”

Target shared comments from some employees who said the recognition pay throughout the year provided a lift.

“The bonus was a huge relief, and it helped me tremendously,” said Alejandro Madrid, a checkout advocate for Target in Brooklyn Park, Minn. “I’m happy to know that Target cares for my well-being. I helped my mom with bills, and I’m fortunate enough to have saved a portion of the bonus.” 

Brooke Starling, a Target executive team leader for human resources in Dallas, said, “We were impacted by so many things this year, including my husband being laid off, leaving my salary to provide for us and our children. The bonus that Target provided relieved some of the stress we were experiencing as a family. It also made me continue to believe in the work I do every day for my team and community.”


Overall, Target said it invested about $1 billion more in employee compensation, benefits, health and safety during 2020 versus 2019. The company added that it’s extending COVID-19 benefits into 2021, including a waiver of its absenteeism policy for coronavirus-related illness, free access to virtual doctor visits for all employees, a 30-day paid leave for vulnerable associates, free backup care for all U.S.-based employees, and free mental health counseling.

Also on Monday, Target’s Shipt same-day delivery subsidiary announced a $3.6 million investment in bonuses for its base of personal shoppers, who pick and deliver online orders. Shoppers who delivered more than 50, 100, 300, 500 and 1,000 orders in November and December will receive respective one-time payments of $50, $100, $150, $250 and $500 on Jan. 29.

Birmingham, Ala.-based Shipt said most of its personal shoppers completed upwards of 100 orders in what turned out to be the company’s busiest holiday season.

“Despite challenges, Shipt shoppers rose to the occasion and proved to be a vital and reliable holiday resource in their communities,” Shipt CEO Kelly Caruso said in a statement. “During the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we saw order volume increase 200% when compared to last year. That means time and time again, Shipt shoppers went above and beyond, and these thank-you bonuses recognize their loyalty, hard work and dedication to service.”

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