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Shocking: Target Raised Wages to $15, Cut Employee Hours

Shocking: Target Raised Wages to $15, Cut Employee Hours

Totes surprised!

How do I economy? A business needs to make a profit in order to stay in business and provide goods for customers.

I also think people do not realize the size of Target, which means a lot of people making $15 an hour.

Reality runs deeper than Target’s size, though. You have to take into consideration the continuous changes happening in the retail sector.


Employees told CNN Business supervisors have given them different reasons for the cut hours, including that there were not hours available or that their managers couldn’t fit additional hours in their budgets. Some received no explanations.

Heather said she used to work around 40 hours a week, but now brings in around 20 hours.

Caren Morales explained that Target cut her hours when her “medical coverage was about to kick in.” She worked between 35-40 hours a week, well above the 30 hours a week minimum, but went down to 15 hours a week.

Morales had to quit because she could not afford daycare.

Target worker Tony said the big pay raise”really doesn’t help much when [I’m] only doing 20 to 30 hours a week.”

Victor Hanousek quit when his hours went down to 22 hours a week.

Why Though?

So let’s look at the reasons given to the employees. They appear pretty vague, right? How about some specifics?

Modernization. The world is constantly changing. A business needs to make a profit to stay in business, but it has to change with the world as well:

Target has overhauled operations at its 1,850 US stores in recent years to create more specialized positions for staffers, who now often focus on a single department, instead of the entire store. Target also eliminated backroom shifts at some stores. Backroom teams used to unload boxes and make sure inventory was in stock, but Target moved some of those employees to the sales floor. The new model is known as “modernization.”

Target says it changed its operating procedures in an attempt to improve customer service, make stores capable of fulfilling online orders and improve productivity.

“We knew we couldn’t operate the stores anymore in the same fashion we had for the last 20, 30 years,” Target COO John Mulligan told CNN Business in an interview for this story. “We needed to change the way we operate in the store to create a better, more inviting experience for our guests.”

Have you gone to Target in the middle of the day during the week? It’s pretty empty. Have you gone to Target on a Saturday or Sunday? BUSY:

Target acknowledged that, as part of its store operations overhaul, it has shifted some payroll hours from the mornings and daytime hours to nights and weekends to match customer demand. That has impacted some workers’ schedules, Target said, although it said it has added millions of payroll hours in recent years.

A few times during the day the store can get busy, but overall it’s pretty slow. Why have people at the registers or around the store if they remain idle the majority of the time? Target has relieved some of this anxiety for shoppers with the self-checkout lane.

Lee Beecher, who works at a Target in California, complained about how his hours “fluctuate a lot” and said “[I]t’s not fair.” He gains more hours before and during the holidays

That’s the reality of working retail. Target brings in one-third of its yearly profit during the holidays.

Due to the ups and downs of shopping habits the stores need flexibility. It does not help that health insurance costs have gone up:

Retailers often want to have a larger pool of part-time workers making the minimum wage, instead of a smaller group of full-time staffers with benefits and guaranteed hours, said Lonnie Golden, professor of economics and labor relations at Penn State University-Abington.

This strategy gives companies more flexibility to adjust workers’ schedules based on store demands and helps them labor costs, Golden said.

It’s often cheaper for retailers to employ part-time workers, rather than full-time employees, because health insurance costs are going up, because full-time workers get more paid time off and because, if there is extra work on short notice full-time workers would likely become eligible for overtime premium pay for additional hours they work above 40 a week, Golden said.

Online Shopping

Back in April, online shopping became one of the largest parts of retail. I admit that I rarely go to my physical Target. I shop Target online most of the time. Amazon gets most of my money. From CNBC:

The online sector, referred to as “clicks,” has been slowly eating up market share in the past two decades. Its total rose from below 5 percent in the late 1990s to about 12 percent in 2019, according to the Commerce Department. In February, online sales narrowly beat general merchandise stores, including department stores, warehouse clubs and super-centers. Non-store retail sales last month accounted for 11.813 percent of the total, compared with 11.807 percent for general merchandise. To be sure, brick-and-mortar sales are higher when including other categories such as auto and restaurant sales.

“Sure, we had to go out to three decimal places, so the margin of different is extremely small, but looking at the chart the trend remains clear; the share of total sales for each sector are clearly going in opposite directions,” Hickey said in a note.

There are other categories of brick-and-mortar stores not included in general merchandise, such as clothing and accessories stores.

Online sales is now the fourth largest sector overall, bringing in about $59.8 billion in adjusted sales for February. Motor vehicles and parts is the largest segment, making up about 20 percent of all retail spending. Food and beverage store sales and restaurants and bar sales each make up about 12 percent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said about 30% of the 15 million “retail workers worked fewer than 35 hours a week last year.” Only 17% usually work fewer than 35 hours.

Most people, even part-time workers, want more hours. Some even want to work fulltime.

But until you can control the erratic world of retail nothing will change.


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2smartforlibs | October 15, 2019 at 6:32 pm

Been years since I was in a Targay. I odnt need evil liberal corporations telling me what I need and don’t need.

    Targay? Because they have transgender restrooms (or a policy?)

      UnCivilServant in reply to tz. | October 16, 2019 at 7:26 am

      I took it as a riff off the semi-french pronounciation that had wandered around as a rebranding rumor a few years back

      But I could be wrong.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to 2smartforlibs. | October 15, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    I rarely go into Targay either, but if you go out on safari to them you’ll find the merchandise quality is even lower than it has always been historically, imo.

    Plus, their goods are still way overpriced compared to the quality of the merchandise.

“Lee Beecher, who works at a Target in California, complained about how his hours “fluctuate a lot” and said “[I]t’s not fair.””

Uh, I’m confused about this whole ‘fair / not fair’ thing. Simply self-identify as a full time employee and there’ll be more dollars in your paycheck.

What’s the problem?

Haven’t been in a Target for years, other than using their restroom just off the highway where there’s no DOT rest area for 70 miles. I bought a candy bar and soft drink to assauge my guilt.

Not surprised about them going to self-check terminals. Our local Super Walmart is almost entirely self-check now – and this is a retirement community mostly. A few roving employees keep an eye on customer progress but that’s down from up to 10 scan operator-baggers before. One employee chatted a little as I checked out – morale and employee satisfaction are even lower now. I’m saddened to see it here – though Walmart employees aren’t noted for their stimulating conversation, I still appreciated the human touch, even a smile. I do hope there’s someone in a control room who eavesdrops on customers at the checkout scanners … I’m always cussing at the machines – and tell the pleasant female robot voice who says “Thank you” at the end, to drop dead.

    WestRock in reply to MrE. | October 15, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    Not to change the subject, but at our local supermarket I wait in line to support the cashiers and baggers. When I do go to the self checkout I am even ruder than you, and when robo-bitch says “… please put you item in the bagging area…” what comes out of my mouth is usually “I did, you f#*king idiot!” or “stupid f#*king robot!” I figure I’m getting old enough I can get away with it.

      CincyJan in reply to WestRock. | October 15, 2019 at 9:43 pm

      i’m ashamed to admit I talk back to the darn machines, too. Hopefully, there are no children around me when I’m venting my frustration with modern machinery.

      gospace in reply to WestRock. | October 15, 2019 at 11:04 pm

      According to my sources who work for the evil Walmart, the self checkouts don’t reduce cashier employment. At least one cashier needs to monitor the self checkouts when they’re open. And at least one cash register – the one that sells tobacco, needs to be open at all times. And because of lean staffing, sometimes there will be only two cashiers scheduled. Some of the other associates will be trained as backup cashiers. I was trained as one when I worked for a big box home improvement chain.

      Walmart’s biggest problem now is finding people to work the weird hours of retail. Very few workers at any retailer have a set schedule. The midnight cashier at my local Wegmans does. Why? Well, he’s willing to work a straight midnight shift… I see him when I stop in on my way home from work after my 4-midnight shift. But a 40 hour work week with M-F day shift? Available in very few jobs anymore. Academia, government, law firms, big corporation HQs, and very few others.

      When Home Depot began their self-service scanners I told a cashier I would not use them because I see them as anti-labor.

      She replied, “Oh no. Nobody lost their job. They just cut everyone’s hours.”

      Some people deserve what happens to them.

        ConradCA in reply to BobF. | October 16, 2019 at 4:14 pm

        The progressive fascists wanted $15 per hour and ObamaCare, they got it so let them suffer the consequences. Self service check out is one of the consequences.

    jhn1 in reply to MrE. | October 16, 2019 at 11:22 am

    As long as you patronize both the self checkout and Walmart store in general, they are winners for that policy.

The problem is asset inflation, progressive prices, immigration reform, and central/single (i.e. monopoly, monopolistic) solutions that distort economic development. Progressive wages unbacked by productivity gains are recurring injections of brown matter (e.g. redistributive change) that force a temporary perception of equity.

I won’t shop at this bastion of pervert rights. This country is full of useful idiots who want more for less. You wanted $15 an hour you will pay the consequences. Yeah socialism is a great idea for those in charge. How about getting an education and having some hutzpah so you don’t need to work in retail.

It’s just so sad that leftist b.s. must become implemented for the useful idiots following it to learn it will destroy them.

If target goes away someone else will come along and maybe they won’t let perverts go into whichever bathroom they see the little kid go into.

    tom_swift in reply to 4fun. | October 15, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    In defense of Target . . . it’s the only place locally which carries tolerable fire extinguishers. Everybody else sells that Kidde garbage. Ugh. If you expect to cash in on your home insurance—or maybe get in on one of the numerous class-action lawsuits—after you pull the trigger on a Kidde and find that nothing comes out even though the little gauge says FULL, be my guest. I usually buy better extinguishers online, but the First Alerts at Target are the cheapest ones I’ll have in the house.

But until you can control the erratic world of retail nothing will change.

Retail’s not the problem. What’s changing—and not for the better—is the less-erratic world of counterproductive intrusion by government, bringing along its vast realm of incompetence. Businesses know (or believe they know) exactly what it will cost to automate a particular operation, and when employee costs reach a certain level they go ahead and do it. The process is accelerated by government finagling, even if competent.

What level of detail do retailers track? Big chains know how much money the average customer pays per minute he’s in the store; if they can offer a service, even one which doesn’t pay for itself, the store may make money just from the time customers wander around waiting the few minutes for their custom Christmas cards (as an obvious example) to be printed. Basically, they know a helluva lot more than government ever will. Government is simply not equipped to make most things any better.

This isn’t going to help a major box store retail problem: employee theft. I’ll bet Target has a big problem with that. Contrast this to Costco which is frequently criticized by Wall Street analysts for low employee turnover which supposedly inflates their payroll costs. Now compare profits and stock price performance.

There is not cost accounting mechanism that I know of that captures the value of two-way loyalty between company and employee but it is there. Costco crushes Target on price, quality, service (they deliver food within two hours around here) and employee loyalty. Now if they could do something about parking. Maybe Target could sell them all of their empty parking spaces.

    94Corvette in reply to Pasadena Phil. | October 16, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Costco’s parking lots may be crowded, but the parking spaces are wide and have buffer zones between them. Glad to walk a little further and not get door dings. Lots of little things they do that make me a loyal, frequent customer.

    Costco in a retirement community after 6PM is wonderful! All the locals have returned home to sleep off the early-bird specials.

In the absence of retail changes, raising the wage gentrifies the jobs – a higher class of workers moves in. Cutting the hours turns that effect off.

Congratulations, grubers. You got what you wanted.

I stopped going to Target when they introduced Fisher-Price-like carts so the kiddies could climb on it and pretend they were driving a car. That combined with the tiny space allocated to bag items made my decision to drop Target.

That was long before they allowed pervs in women’s restrooms.

STOPPED SHOPPING IN TARGET over 10 years ago, when they stopped allowing the Salvation Army bell ringers with their little kettle for the Christmas Holidays.

Then there was the incident where they had a Muslim clerk in a hijab who refused to ring up a customer because they bought a “pork” product, BUT they didn’t fire her!

Lastly, they started allowing men to use the women’s restroom. In all of these social offenses target ignored the screams of their paying customers….would have loved to see them fold entirely, going the way of Sears. These policies were not an accident of management policy, they were designed to push aside the American populace while submitting to Muslim sensitivities.

Kick out Christmas, submit to Muslims and let men pee in the girls bathroom? Target has a problem and deserves everything that comes to it.