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As the holiday season approaches, Target will offer its employees another $200 bonus for staffing its stores and distribution and customer service centers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The bonus is the fourth additional incentive the Minneapolis retailer has offered this year to front-line workers who cannot work at home during the pandemic. Eligible workers include hourly workers as well as seasonal employees.

In all, the new bonuses will cost the company more than $70 million.

This bonus will go to more than 350,000 eligible employees, including hourly workers in stores and distribution centers, as well as hourly headquarters employees who support store employees and customers.

"In a year like no other, I'm proud of what this team has accomplished and grateful for the care and connection they've provided our guests and communities," said Melissa Kremer, Target's chief human resources officer, in a statement Monday. "Target's success this year is a direct result of our team members turning our purpose into action and meeting our guests' changing needs day after day."

Employees should receive the bonuses by early November.

Target said it has spent nearly $1 billion so far this year in additional investments in its workers' safety and well-being beginning with bonuses to its store team leads in April. In July, Target permanently increased its starting minimum wage to $15.

Target's bonuses won't extend to the contract workers who shop and deliver items to customers for its grocery delivery company Shipt. In its latest quarterly earnings, Target reported sales fulfilled by Shipt grew more than 350% as some customers turned to store delivery services during the pandemic.

A group of about 20 Shipt workers and supporters protested Monday afternoon outside Target's downtown Minneapolis offices and its flagship Nicollet Mall store to voice dissatisfaction with a new payment algorithm Shipt rolled out nationwide in September that some shoppers say has reduced their pay.

Shipt has said company leaders decided to move from a more commission-based payment method to a model that is supposed to also take into account factors like the number of items in an order and whether the shopping occurred during a busy time of day.

In a company blog post this month, Shipt said its shoppers typically make more than $21 per shop, an average that hasn't changed with the new payment model.

Advocates for the contract workers, though, point to a recent study by that found 40% of Shipt shoppers earned less under the new payment model.

"[Target and Shipt] have seen exponential profits off of this pandemic and have used this opportunity — instead of rewarding shoppers for the incredible, difficult, dangerous and hard work that they have done over the past several months … to gut our earnings instead," said Vanessa Bain, founder of the Gig Workers Collective, who traveled to Minneapolis from California to help organize the protest.

Shipt, which doubled its shoppers earlier this year to 200,000, wants to hire an additional 100,000 for the holiday season. The company has given spot bonuses to some of its top shoppers this year.

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495

Twitter: @nicolenorfleet