Target giving $500 pandemic bonuses to 375,000 frontline employees

Logo is visible on facade at Target retail store under dramatic sky in San Ramon, California. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Target announced Monday that it will reward all of the company’s hourly employees with $500 bonuses for their work during the challenging COVID-19 pandemic. 

"We're saying thank you to 375,000 of our frontline team members with a $500 bonus in the new year," the company tweeted.

"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," a statement read. "And never has their dedication, resiliency, care and compassion been more appreciated than during the pandemic."

The retail corporation will hand out bonuses to team members in stores, distribution centers, headquarters and field-based officers in an effort to show gratitude. Also, store directors, executive team leaders, and salaried distribution center leaders will receive bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $2,000.

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"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" Executive Team Leader Brooke Starling said in the statement.  

The company said it’s the fifth time they dished out bonuses during the pandemic.

Target has weathered the pandemic fairly well. The Minneapolis company reported that its online sales surged 102% for the November and December period. Sales at its stores opened for at least a year rose 4.2%. Customer traffic was up 4.3%, and average dollars spent rose 12.3%. 

Customers responded in force to efforts by Target to help them reduce exposure to the virus through same-day store pick up for orders, and also delivery. Same-day services increased 193% during the November and December period, the company said.

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Like many retailers, Target was forced to reinvent the holiday shopping season during the pandemic, encouraging shoppers to shift more of their shopping online and away from the stores.

The nation’s largest retail trade group said holiday sales soared 8.3%, far exceeding its forecast even as the coronavirus kept shoppers away from physical stores. The National Retail Federation had expected growth in a range of 3.6% to 5.2% for the November and December period compared to the year-earlier period. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. The story was reported from Los Angeles.