Another Battle in the War Against Working People

Published reports indicate that Target wants to hire 120,000 people to help with the Christmas rush

Which is good news.

But…it’s not sure it’ll be able to do so.

Which is not-so-good news.

But why not?

Too cheap for its own good?

Because a lot of companies are hiring Christmas help and, as Target’s chief human resources officer told CNBC, “It’s absolutely a competitive marketplace.”

So what’s Target doing to compete?

As reported by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal,

To combat the labor crunch, Minneapolis-based Target is adding incentives to increase its holiday hiring, and is offering associates a 10 percent discount at Target stores plus an additional 20 percent off wellness products like fruit, vegetables and workout clothing, the company said.  Target…will randomly select one hourly team member from each of Target’s stores and distribution centers to receive a $500 holiday gift card…

Which, when you think about it, ain’t all that much.

Here’s a better idea:  Target should pay people what they’re worth.  If it’s offering $12 an hour and can’t get the people it wants, it needs to offer $13.  If $13 doesn’t get the company what it wants, it needs to offer $14.  And so on, until it hires the help it needs.  That’s how Target prices its merchandise – based on what the market will bear – so why should its wages be any different?

It’s not like Target is hurting.  It had $71.9 billion in sales last year and $2.9 billion in profits.  Its stock price, around $59 a year ago, has risen nearly 50 percent, to more than $88 a share today.

In other words, Target isn’t hurting for money.  It has the resources it needs to offer people enough money to come work there.  So when the folks at Target say they may not be able to get all the Christmas help they need, what they’re really saying is that they don’t really want that help enough to pay for it.

The people who built Target aren’t stupid; they know how to get the Christmas help they want.  PAY PEOPLE A COMPETITIVE WAGE.  COMPETE FOR EMPLOYEES THE SAME WAY YOU COMPETE FOR CUSTOMERS.

Or they can always just under-staff their stores during the Christmas season and watch their customers abandon their overflowing carts in long check-out lines to go shop elsewhere.

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