President Trump took a moment Wednesday to highlight proactive measures taken by retail giant Target to help both customers and employees amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, including restructuring hours to restock key supplies and ramp up their sanitizing efforts and reserving the first hour of shopping each Wednesday “to support vulnerable guests, including the elderly and those with underlying health concerns.”
“Thank you to our great American businesses for going above and beyond to keep our most vulnerable citizens safe!” Trump tweeted in response to a Target News social media post announcing some of the company’s new COVID-19 response measures.
“We’re so proud of our Target teams working to keep stores open for guests during this challenging time,” reads the post, which links to a press release from Target CEO Brian Cornell outlining the company’s “latest efforts, including new reduced store hours to add time for cleaning [and] restocking, [and] dedicated shopping time for vulnerable guests.”
Thank you to our great American businesses for going above and beyond to keep our most vulnerable citizens safe! https://t.co/BlV0E4r5IB
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2020
Cornell was one of several CEOs to join President Trump in a widely praised press conference Friday in which the president reassured Americans that the economy was resilient and our major industries were working in concert with the federal government to keep key supplies coming.
In the press release, Cornell provides updates on the company’s newly implemented measures intended to better support the community and employees. Among the steps Target is taking are: reducing store hours and closing by 9 p.m. to help resupply and cleaning efforts; “fast-tracking the flow of products that are in highest demand, including food, medicine and other essentials”; reserving the first hour on Wednesdays for more vulnerable customers; and improving its “back-up care benefit,” which is designed to help employees facing “growing caregiving responsibilities including infants, children, spouses, domestic partners and aging parents.”
Below is the full text of Cornell’s update on how the company is “supporting our guests and team”:
Every day, for weeks now, you’ve turned to Target to stock up on supplies as you cope with the impact of the coronavirus. As we all continue to adapt to the country’s fast-changing needs, we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep our stores open and support our team.
Today, we’re announcing a couple of changes that will go into effect tomorrow and last until further notice.
We’ll reduce hours and close all stores by 9 p.m. daily. This will help us as we replenish and deeply clean our stores for our guests. And it builds on measures we shared earlier this month, including enhanced cleaning and more staffing for in-demand services that support social distancing, like Order Pickup and Drive Up.
We’ll also reserve the first hour of shopping each Wednesday to support vulnerable guests, including the elderly and those with underlying health concerns.
In addition to these changes, we’re fast-tracking the flow of products that are in highest demand, including food, medicine and other essentials. We’ll continue to maintain limitations on in-demand items and respectfully ask all guests to consider their immediate needs and purchase accordingly so more families can find the products they need.
Taking care of our team
During this challenging time, I can assure you that the Target team is working hard to be there for you and your families – and we’re doubling down on everything we can to support them.
We recently announced changes to our back-up care benefit, so in the face of school and other care-facility closures, back-up care will be available to all, including frontline team members who are doing so much right now. This comes on top of temporarily waiving our absenteeism policy and covering quarantine and confirmed illness pay. We’ll also continue to offer benefits like paid family leave and free counseling services for the range of challenges our team might be facing.
So much of what we’ve seen over the last few weeks has been heroic, from our dedicated teams working in our stores and supply chain, to the way you and your families have banded together.
As I’ve said from the outset, a commitment to help all families is at the heart of Target’s purpose. Our goal is to be here for you and keep navigating through this uncertainty together – and we will do everything in our power to live up to that promise.