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Target announced Thursday that it will supply all employees in stores and distribution centers with face masks and gloves within the next two weeks to wear at work in order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Starting Saturday, the company will also limit the number of customers allowed in its nearly 1,900 stores nationwide as needed to promote social distancing and reduce the possibility of congestion.
"We're incredibly proud of the commitment our more than 350,000 frontline team members have demonstrated to ensure millions of guests can count on Target, and we'll continue to focus our efforts on supporting them," Target Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan in a press release. "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."
Shoppers with Shipt, the same-day delivery service owned by Target, will also be able to obtain masks and gloves at stores across the country.
Target's announcement is the latest effort to ensure the safety of its employees and customers during the coronavirus. The company says it has "rigorous cleaning routines" at stores and distribution centers and that it has added floor signage and plexiglass partitions at all registers to promote social distancing between customers and employees.
According to the release, the company has invested "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" and will pay out bonuses to the 20,000 team leads who manage individual departments in stores. It will also offer "quarantine pay" for 14 days, confirmed illness pay at 100 percent for 14 days, paid leave for team members who are 65 or older or pregnant for up to 30 days and make backup care available to all team members.
Target has created special shopping hours for customers who are the most at risk and is offering no-contact deliveries and financial assistance for customers both directly and indirectly impacted by the virus.
The retailer says it will also donate an additional 2 million KN-95 respirator masks to the medical community to support health care workers in the fight against the coronavirus. The company has previously donated $1 million to support organizations that are helping provide critical medical equipment and supplies to regions around the world.
Target stock closed at $94.36 per share at the end of Thursday's trading session.