As home retailer Ikea announced plans to raise the average, hourly minimum wage at its U.S. stores to $10.76, the pressure is mounting for other big brand businesses to lift pay for their workers.
Large companies, from retail to food—as well as many states—have hiked their hourly rate, or are considering such a move.
Gap in February said it would set $9 as the minimum hourly rate for U.S. workers, and raise the minimum to $10 next year. Chipotle Mexican Grill has said an increase to $10 an hour could be absorbed. Starbucks says it would support efforts to lift wages, but hasn't taken a stance on any specific proposal.
Ikea's announcement is "a significant step nationally in moving the wage from where it is now," said Greta Bergstrom of TakeAction Minnesota, which has lobbied to raise wages in the state. Minnesota lawmakers in April approved lifting the state minimum wage to $9.50 an hour over three years.
Ikea's decision "will put pressure on other big box retailers to raise their wages," Bergstrom said.
Minneapolis-based Target on Thursday had no additional comment beyond those shared with CNBC.com in May.
"As a leading employer, Target recognizes the importance of considering how best to balance the needs of working Americans while maintaining a healthy business environment conducive to job creation," said Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder in an email. "The vitality of our business, team members, guests and communities remains our focus, and we are continuing to thoughtfully engage in and contribute to these important policy discussions.
"However, we don't disclose the specific details of our competitive pay and benefits programs," Snyder said.
Wal-Mart, America's largest private employer, also told CNBC.com last month that less than 1 percent of the retailer's staff excluding managers—or about 5,000 workers—make minimum wage.
Wal-Mart's average hourly pay for part-time and full-time associates combined is around $11.81 an hour, and around $12.83 hourly for full-time associates. "We're not a minimum wage payer," spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said in May.