Target Corp. is reducing store hours, increasing select employee benefits and making other adjustments in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Beginning March 18, all Target stores will open at their regularly scheduled times but close by 9 p.m. (local time) daily to give employees extra time for cleaning and restocking each day. The retailer also will maintain limits on select products and ask shoppers to purchase only what they need “so there's enough supply to accommodate this increased demand."
In addition, Target is reserving the first hour of shopping each Wednesday at stores nationwide for “vulnerable” shoppers – including elderly and those with underlying health concerns. The retailer is encouraging other shoppers to plan their shopping trips around this timeframe. (Dollar General has added senior-only shopping hours also.)
Target noted it has closed all in-store eateries, and the seating areas and condiment stations in its Starbucks cafes.
Here are some other steps Target has taken in support of its support of its associates and shoppers:
• Adding payroll hours to support more rigorous cleaning routines, including ensuring guest-facing surfaces like checklanes and touchscreens are cleaned at least every 30 minutes.
• Leveraging its supply chain to prioritize and fast-track the flow of products that are in highest demand across key categories, including cleaning products, paper products, food, over-the-counter medicine and baby products.
• Making back-up care available for all U.S. team members by waiving eligibility requirements, copays and other program details to ensure team members with caregiving needs can take care of their families during this time.
• Waiving the company's absenteeism policy and covering up to 14 days of quarantine and illness pay for team members with a confirmed case of Covid-19, as well as continuing to offer standing benefits like Paid Family Leave and free counseling services.
"Families are counting on Target for critical supplies during this challenging time, and we'll continue to do all that we can to keep our stores open,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target. “For weeks, we've been responding to the impact of the coronavirus by taking care of our team, rigorously cleaning our stores and helping our guests find the food, medicine and other essentials they need for themselves and their families. As our team continues to adapt to the country's fast-changing needs, we're announcing plans to reduce our store hours and offer dedicated shopping hours for vulnerable guests.”