As Target’s hometown of Minneapolis mourns the death of George Floyd, CEO Brian Cornell and his team have “vowed to face pain with purpose.”
In an open letter published to Target’s corporate site on Friday, Cornell wrote that the retailer’s merchant and distribution teams are prepping truckloads of essentials, such as first-aid equipment, medicine and diapers, to distribute to those in damaged areas. Additionally, the company — which announced on Thursday it would shut down more than a dozen stores in the Twin Cities “until further notice” — is working with displaced employees to ensure they continue to receive full pay and benefits in the coming weeks, as well as “access to other resources and opportunities within Target.”
“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,” said Cornell. “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.”
A 46-year-old unarmed black man, Floyd was killed on Monday by a white Minneapolis police officer, Devin Chauvin, after Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck during an arrest. A video taken of the incident showed Floyd telling the officer he was unable to breathe. Floyd was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Four officers who were involved in Floyd’s death have been fired from the Minneapolis Police Department — including Chauvin, who has also been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Floyd’s death has sparked widespread outrage across the United States, with protesters gathering, mostly peacefully, in major American cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. A number of major players in the fashion and footwear space, such as Nordstrom, Nike and Reebok, have taken a stance against racial injustice as well.
Video and photos that hit social media on Wednesday depicted the scene at a Target store on Minneapolis’ Lake Street, located near the Third Precinct police headquarters. Dozens of people at the store were shown hauling out items such as televisions, snacks and kitchen utensils. Images from inside of the looted store displayed garbage strewn about the floor, empty shelves and overturned displays. Target said it will prioritize the rebuilding of that outpost, with its 200-plus workers to continue receiving pay and benefits in the coming weeks.