Target was one of the first companies to pay its retail employees a minimum wage. The starting wage was to be raised by 2020.

Other retailers increased their starting wages as well. Best Buy and Amazon both pay a minimum of $15 per hour, while Costco has a starting wage of $17 per hour.

Target raises the starting wage for their employees. They will be paying up to $24 per hour, blowing away the competition.

It doesn’t mean that every retail employee will get a raise. The market and the job will determine the new starting wage. Target didn’t say which markets and jobs would see the pay increase.

Target CEO Brian Cornell told The Associated Press, “The market has changed. We want to continue to have an industry-leading position.”

The increase in starting wage from $15 to $24 is significant, but not the only change the employer is making. Target is increasing access to health care.

It is changing the minimum amount of hours employees have to work in order to qualify for health care benefits. Target is reducing the number of time employees have to wait for their health care coverage to kick in.

In a press release, Target’s chief human resources officer, Melissa Kremer, explained, “Our team is at the heart of our strategy and success, and their energy and resilience keep us at the forefront of meeting the changing needs of our guests year after year. We continuously listen to our team members to understand what’s most important to them, then use the feedback to make investments that meet their needs across different career and life stages.”

Kremer added, “We want all team members to be better off for working at Target, and years of investments in our culture of care, meaningful pay, expanded health care benefits and opportunities for growth have been essential to helping our team members build rewarding careers.”

Target, which has 350,000 employees and 1,900 stores, is investing $300 million in its team in the year 2022.

Do you think Target will be copied by other retailers? Do you think a starting wage of $24 will encourage more job seekers to apply at Target?