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Target aims to bring on 130,000 workers for the holidays, more than in 2018

Key Points
  • To stay competitive in the tight job market, Target is paying a minimum starting wage of $13 an hour, nearly twice the federal mark.
  • Target also will give seasonal workers a 10% discount on their purchases and an additional 20% discount on "wellness" merchandise like fruits and vegetables and workout gear.
  • The retailer says double the number of people will be devoted to helping fulfill online orders from stores.
Target Team members meet before Black Friday in Chicago.
John Gress | Corbis | Getty Images

Target said Tuesday it's looking to hire more than 130,000 seasonal workers to help it meet demand during the holiday shopping season, up from its goal for 120,000 workers in 2018.

The big-box retailer said about 125,000 jobs will be positioned in stores, with about 8,000 at distribution and fulfillment centers. It said the number of people working across its 1,800 stores devoted to fulfilling shoppers' online orders will be up two-fold this season from last year.

"It's critical we build the right team across our stores and supply chain to deliver an exceptional holiday experience for our guests during the busiest time of the year," Melissa Kremer, chief human resources officer, said in a statement.

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To stay competitive in the tight job market, Target will pay all workers a minimum starting wage of $13 per hour, nearly twice the federal mark of $7.25. The company is still on track to pay a $15 minimum hourly wage by the end of 2020.

Target also will give seasonal workers a 10% discount on their purchases and an additional 20% discount on "wellness" merchandise like fruits and vegetables and workout gear.

Target also said it's investing $2 million in its employee appreciation program this holiday season, which allows seasonal workers the chance to win a $250 Target gift card and the chance to pick where Target donates another $250, toward a charity. Target had set aside $2 million for the program in 2018 as well.

The announcement comes a day after Amazon said it plans to add more than 30,000 full and part-time jobs in its corporate, tech and customer fulfillment departments, unrelated to typical seasonal hiring. Amazon is paying at least $15 an hour with benefits. Amazon said it's looking for "tens of thousands" of people to fill additional roles during the peak holiday season.

Kohl's started hiring for the holiday season in July, knowing how tight the labor market is today, with near-record-low unemployment in the U.S.

Still, Target said last November when it reported quarterly earnings that it was able to meet its goal of bringing on 120,000 people for the holidays, and ahead of schedule.

This year, Target said it will host two hiring events, Oct. 11 to Oct. 13, and Nov. 2 to Nov. 3.

Target shares have soared more than 64% this year, hitting an all-time high of $110.94 on Friday.

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