Customers walk with their purchases from a Target store, in Methuen, Mass. Target Corp. reports earnings, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017Earns Target, Methuen, USA - 27 Jun 2016

Target Corp. is joining the ranks of retailers putting up a “Help Wanted” sign in their windows — the mass merchant today said it will hire 120,000 seasonal holiday workers, a 20 percent jump over last year’s period. But the low 3.9 percent unemployment rate will make it tough to meet its staffing needs.

Last holiday season, Target posted a 1.3 percent decline in same-store sales for the November and December holiday period. This despite what experts considered the retail industry’s best Christmas since 2011.

The retailer isn’t taking any chances this year.

Target said it will offer existing associates the opportunity to work extra hours and noted that the move is part of its investment in people, which includes wage increases.

The retailer said team members hired after Sept. 6 will start at a minimum wage of $12 an hour as part of Target’s commitment to increase wages to $15 an hour by 2020. Other perks for “seasoned” team members include 10 percent off at Target stores, plus an additional 20 percent wellness discount on fruits and vegetables and all Simply Balanced and C9 products; the opportunity to earn holiday pay on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and flexible work schedules.

Target said it’s investing more than $2 million to give one team member at each of its more than 1,800 stores and 39 distribution centers in the U.S. $500 gift card and $500 to donate to a local charity of their choice.

“As the marketplace gets more competitive, the significant investment we’re making in our team, including the $12 minimum wage, sets Target apart,” said Stephanie Lundquist, chief human resources officer.

With the expanded capabilities of ship from store, drive-up and order pick-up services, Target will double the number of seasonal employees it hired in those areas last year.

Target will host from Oct. 12 to Oct. 14 hiring events at all stores.

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