In light of COVID-19, Target has been experiencing unusually strong traffic and sales, particularly in its stores and same-day services as guests rely on Target for essential items such as food, medicine, cleaning products and pantry stock-up items. As a result, Target has adjusted the expected timing of some of its strategic initiatives to support the team and minimize potential disruptions in their work to serve the needs of consumers. These are some of the examples of how the company has been impacted by COVID-19 and were highlighted in operational updates Target recently announced.
The company outlined further updated plans that have been shifted as the industry adjusts to coping with COVID-19, starting with Target’s remodel program. The company anticipates approximately 130 remodels in 2020, down from the previous expectation of approximately 300. This will allow remodel projects already underway to be completed and move all other remodel projects to 2021. Similarly, the company now expects to open 15-20 new small format stores in 2020, rather than the 36 previously announced. This is anticipated to enable projects already underway to be completed, but move the remaining new store projects into next year. In addition, the effort to incorporate fresh grocery and adult beverages into the company’s drive up and order pickup services is temporarily on hold.
“We are prioritizing the work that’s in front of us to support our team, store operations and supply chain as families across the country rely on Target for everything they need in this challenging environment. I want to thank our entire team for their efforts, which have been nothing short of heroic,” said Brian Cornell, Chairman and CEO. “Over the past few weeks, we’ve experienced an unprecedented surge in traffic and sales, as guests rely on our stores and same-day services. Ensuring we can take care of our team and deliver for the millions of guests who are counting on us remains our top priority.”
Also announced last week, Target has raised its industry-leading pay by $2 an hour for its store and distribution center hourly full-time and part-time team members until at least May 2. In addition, Target is offering a new option for team members who are 65 or older, pregnant or those with underlying medical conditions to access paid leave. Target’s latest investments include bonuses it is paying out to front-line team members, including, for the first time, bonuses for 20,000 hourly store team leads who manage individual departments in its stores across the country.