NEW YORK - Target Corp. is raising its minimum hourly wage to $11 starting next month and then to $15 by the end of 2020 in a move it says will help it better recruit and retain staff and provide a better shopping experience for its customers.

Target's initiative is part of its overall strategy to reinvent its business. But its move to increase entry-level hourly pay to $15 far exceeds not only the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour but the entry-level hourly base pay at Walmart, the nation's largest private employer, and at plenty of other retail peers whose minimum hourly pay hovers around $10.

“Target has a long history of investing in our team members. We care about and value the more than 323,000 individuals who come together every day with an absolute commitment to serving our guest,” said Brian Cornell, CEO and chairman of Target. “Target has always offered market competitive wages to our team members. With this latest commitment, we’ll be providing even more meaningful pay, as well as the tools, training and support our team needs to build their skills, develop professionally and offer the service and expertise that set Target apart.”

By moving to an $11 minimum hourly wage this fall, Target will provide pay increases to thousands of team members across the country before the holiday season arrives. The pay increase will also apply to the more than 100,000 hourly team members that Target plans on hiring for the holiday season. The commitment to move to a minimum hourly wage of $15 will be implemented sometime between now and the end of 2020.

A news release by the Minnesota-based retailer outlines Target’s wage history and approach to employees:

  • Target's minimum hourly wage of $11 is higher than the minimum wage in 48 states, and matches the minimum wage in Massachusetts and Washington state.
  • In 2016, Target increased the minimum hourly wage to $10. Target pays market competitive rates at all stores nationwide.
  • Target says Investing in its employees goes beyond providing market competitive wages. The company offers a comprehensive health and wellness program, financial resources, tuition reimbursement, flexible scheduling and merchandise discounts, which are detailed in the press release below.
  • Target offers a wide variety of career planning and development opportunities. On average, 1 in 4 of its store leaders having come from hourly positions within a Target store.

The changes come at a time when there's growing concern for the hourly workers' plight. At the same time, competition for workers is becoming increasingly stiff.