Minnesota

Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail.

With shallow pockets but a deep commitment to promote "living wages," women's advocacy group UltraViolet has peppered Target with cheap location-focused online ads, challenging it to match Wal-Mart's promise of $10-an-hour base pay. The nonprofit advocacy group launched its campaign on Tuesday. With a budget of just $5,000, it purchased online ads that appear on the browsers of people surfing the web within an approximately 1,000-feet radius of three stores in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Nebraska.

Target cut 1,700 people at its corporate offices in the Twin Cities on Tuesday, the largest downsizing of its headquarters staff ever. The retailer's top managers had set the company's employees on edge a week before by announcing plans to cut "several thousand" corporate jobs. On Tuesday, they lost no time in implementing their plan, with workers cut loose en masse.

Target is laying off 550 employees in its Minneapolis corporate offices, following its failed Canadian expansion. Of those 550 employees, Target said Wednesday that “approximately 350 Minnesota-based positions” are being eliminated immediately. Most of the other 200 employees “are needed through the closure of the Target Canada stores and their positions will be eliminated following the liquidation period,” Target said in a statement.

Was it Election Day? There was plenty else happening at Target. On Tuesday, the Minneapolis-based retailer announced it would close 11 stores. It also swatted away an investment firm trying to buy shares on the cheap and started selling tchotchkes made by 3-D printers, latching on to one of the hottest things in high-tech. The store-closing step is one that Target takes at least once a year after a financial review of its 1,800 U.S. outlets. 

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