Target Expresses Support In Wake Of Floyd Protests

Minneapolis-based Target has responded to the death of George Floyd, boosting its community support in the wake of protests and associated disruptions at some of its stores, including its Lake Street store, near where Floyd was killed.

“We are heartbroken by the death of George Floyd and the pain it is causing communities across the country,” the company stated. “The safety of our team and guests is our top priority. At this time, we are making the decision to adjust store hours or close stores temporarily. We recognize the important role we play in helping our communities shop for the food, medicine and other essentials they need. We apologize for the inconvenience and will reopen our stores on their normally scheduled hours as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Stores closed until further notice:

  • Broadway Oakland, CA
  • Buckhead South Atlanta, GA
  • South Loop Chicago, IL
  • Lake Street Minneapolis, MN (goal of opening in late 2020)
  • Uptown Minneapolis, MN
  • Washington Square W Philadelphia, PA

The company said it is providing community support and prioritizing the rebuilding of its Lake Street store, which is near where George Floyd was killed. Teams are working to provide basic first aid supplies, water and essentials through partnerships with local nonprofits. Members of the community and its team have assisted in cleaning in and around that location. The company said it is boarding the store up until they can survey the location and begin recovery efforts.

In a separate statement, Target CEO Brian Cornell said:

“We are a community in pain. That pain is not unique to the Twin Cities— it extends across America. The murder of George Floyd has unleashed the pent-up pain of years, as have the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. We say their names and hold a too-long list of others in our hearts. As a Target team, we’ve huddled, we’ve consoled, we’ve witnessed horrific scenes similar to what’s playing out now and wept that not enough is changing. And as a team we’ve vowed to face pain with purpose.

Every day, our team wakes up ready to help all families— and on the hardest days we cling even more dearly to that purpose. As I write this, our merchant and distribution teams are preparing truckloads of first aid equipment and medicine, bottled water, baby formula, diapers and other essentials, to help ensure that no one within the areas of heaviest damage and demonstration is cut off from needed supplies.

Our store and HR teams are working with all of our displaced team members, including the more than 200 team members from our Lake Street store in Minneapolis. We will make sure they have their full pay and benefits in the coming weeks, as well as access to other resources and opportunities within Target. We’ll continue to invest in this vibrant crossroads of the Seward, Longfellow, Phillips and Powderhorn communities, preserving jobs and economic opportunity by rebuilding and bringing back the store that has served as a community resource since 1976. In any of our other locations that are damaged or at risk, the safety and well-being of our team, guests and the surrounding community will continue to be our paramount priority.

It’s hard to see now, but the day will come for healing— and our team will join our hearts, hands and resources in that journey. Even now, Target leaders are assembling community members, partners and local officials to help identify what more we can do together and what resources are required to help families, starting right here in Minnesota.

Since we opened our doors, Target has operated with love and opportunity for all. And in that spirit, we commit to contributing to a city and community that will turn the pain we’re all experiencing into better days for everyone.”

Other retailers, such as Walmart, also faced damages and temporary store closures amid the protests.

Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Walmart, told associates: “Many of you are paying attention to what took place earlier this week in Minneapolis and New York. These events are heartbreaking. There are too many of them and each one is unacceptable.

Walmart is an inclusive company. That is fundamental to our values and our culture. We remain committed to those principles.

At a time when our response to the COVID-19 crisis has brought out the best in us, what took place earlier this week is further proof we must remain vigilant in standing together against racism and discrimination. Doing so is not only at the heart of the values of our company, it’s at the core of the most basic principles of human rights, dignity and justice.

As we continue to monitor the situations unfolding across Minneapolis, we will keep our focus on prioritizing the safety of our associates and customers.

What our country experienced this week yet again reminds us of the need for us to support each other and to come together. Until we, as a nation, confront and address these hard realities, we will never achieve the best of what we can be.”