Target Corp. revealed that it has embarked on several initiatives as part of its multiyear strategy, including significantly expanding its fulfillment options and increasing its starting minimum wage to $12 this year.
The announcement comes only a day after Target disclosed that it will continue to work toward its goal of remodeling 1,000 stores by 2020 by revamping about 325 stores this year, with a special focus on the Twin Cities. In further efforts, the retailer will open approximately 30 stores this year, the majority of which will be small-format stores in urban and dense suburban neighborhoods and near college campuses. New stores are set to open in four communities this week, including small-formats opening in the Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C., areas.
Target will also expand its Restock program to reach 40 markets across the country.
The retailer has made a point of offering significant employee benefits; along with leadership programs, tuition reimbursement and discounts, the retailer bumped its minimum wage to $11 in October with a promise to reach $15 by the end of 2020. Target is now taking the next step by moving to a $12 minimum wage this year, its second significant wage increase in a six-month time frame.
Stephanie Lundquist, Target’s chief human resources officer, said in a post on the retailer's blog that the announcement of wage increases in October was one of her "proudest days at Target.
"I’ve worked in retail my entire career and have spent more than a decade at Target, focusing on how we take care of our team members and help grow their careers," she said. "I’ve traveled to stores across the country, talking to our team members, and I understand the impact that increased wages make on their ability to take care of themselves and their families. And for our team, it allowed us to say: We appreciate you, we care about you, and we’re investing in your future."
Additional improvements include the addition of free two-day shipping for guests who spend at least $35 on Target's website or pay with a Redcard, the expansion of drive-up service from 50 to 1,000 stores, and delivery service for in-store purchases, which will soon expand to all five New York boroughs and four new cities.
"We're making Target America's easiest place to shop. That means blending the best of our physical and digital assets to create new experiences for our guests and reimagining our network of stores into hubs for commerce and community—inspiring showrooms, service centers and neighborhood-based fulfillment centers," said Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell in a statement. "Target has been on a multiyear journey to modernize every dimension of our enterprise, and in 2018, you will see us accelerate our pace. You can expect us to continue to invest in our team as our greatest differentiator, and introduce and scale new experiences, services and brands, all in service to our guests."
In addition, the company recently announced plans to offer same-day delivery of groceries, essentials, home goods, electronics and other products through Shipt, which the retailer agreed to acquired in December. The service is already available at more than 440 stores across the Southeast and in the Twin Cities, and it will expand to the majority of Target stores and all major markets by the 2018 holiday season. Target also plans to accelerate the introduction of exclusive brands in the coming years.