Target announced new restrictions and policies for its stores on Thursday as the Minneapolis-based retail giant continues operations during the new coronavirus crisis. Effective Saturday, Target will monitor and meter guest traffic in its nearly 1,900 stores nationwide to promote social distancing.
Additionally, Target will supply its more than 350,000 team members in stores and distribution centers with face masks and gloves to wear at work, "while continuing to encourage healthy hygiene habits as provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
Store Traffic Monitoring and Metering
To promote social distancing with its team and guests, Target will monitor store traffic and meter — or limit — the number of guests inside stores when needed. Occupancy limits will vary by location and be determined by the store's specific square footage to enhance the average space per person and reduce the possibility of congestion, the company said.
If metering is required, a Target team member will provide a designated waiting area outside with social distancing markers, the company said.
Face masks and gloves for all frontline Target team members
Target says it will provide all team members in stores and distribution centers with "high-quality" disposable face masks and gloves to wear at the beginning of every shift and strongly encourage that they be worn during work.
Shoppers with Shipt, the same-day delivery service owned by Target, also will be able to obtain masks and gloves at stores across the country.
All stores and distribution centers will receive face masks and gloves within the next two weeks, according to a news release.
Donations to the medical community
On top of Target's previous donations of antiviral and N95 respirator masks to first responders and health care professionals at more than 50 organizations across the country, the retailer also announced that it will donate an additional 2 million KN95 respirator masks to the medical community. It said it will continue to explore ways to secure additional inventory for those in critical need.
Encouraging healthy hygiene habits
Target said it is continuing to provide guidance to encourage its team members to practice healthy hygiene habits, as recommended by the CDC, including asking them to stay at home if they are sick. To date, Target said, it has implemented enhanced benefits to support its team members, including:
Investing more than $300 million, including higher hourly wages for frontline team members through at least May 2, which amounts to $240-$480 per team member. Also, for the first time, Target is paying bonuses to the 20,000 team leads who manage individual departments in stores.
Extending benefits to team members, including waiving Target's absenteeism policy, offering quarantine pay for 14 days and confirmed illness pay at 100 percent for 14 days, and making backup care available to all team members.
Offering the opportunity to team members who are 65 or older, considered among the most vulnerable by the CDC, or are pregnant to take a fully paid leave for up to 30 days.
Offering dedicated shopping hours so front-line team members can purchase the essentials they and their families need.
The company says these updates are on top of action the company has taken in recent weeks with the health and safety of its guests and team members in mind, such as rigorous cleaning routines at its stores and distribution centers; social distancing measures such as floor signage to encourage guests and team members to remain at least 6 feet apart; Plexiglass partitions at all registers; and contact-less order pickup and home delivery.
"We're incredibly proud of the commitment our more than 350,000 front-line team members have demonstrated to ensure millions of guests can count on Target, and we'll continue to focus our efforts on supporting them," said John Mulligan, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Target.
"The measures we're announcing today are aimed at ensuring we are creating a safe environment for the guests who continue to turn to Target, while also providing our team with additional resources as they fulfill an essential service in communities across the country."