Target stores are getting surprise visits from company inspectors and managers following workers' reports of unsafe backrooms

  • Target quietly cut overnight and backroom shifts in stores across the US, which workers say has created an increase in workload for those on daytime shifts.
  • Many backrooms in Target stores have become overcrowded and even unsafe because of the changes, workers said.
  • Business Insider spoke to 28 current and former Target employees who have observed or experienced the effects of shift changes on their stores. Following the publication of a Business Insider article that detailed the situation in many backrooms, four current and former employees told Business Insider that it appeared as though Target was looking into the issues reported. 
  • Target declined to comment for this story.

Target's shift cuts have made the backrooms of many stores overcrowded and unsafe, workers said.

The changes are part of a general process of change that Target is implementing in stores across the country. Target previously confirmed to Business Insider that it eliminated backroom and overnight shifts in some stores to increase the availability of workers to assist guests on the floor.

Following the publication of a Business Insider article on Wednesday that detailed the overcrowded and unsafe conditions that workers said have resulted from the shift changes, four current and former Target employees in Arizona, Houston, New Jersey, and California told Business Insider that they have noticed or heard of changes happening in their stores to address the issues reported.

A current employee at an Arizona Target said that her district manager came to observe her store on Wednesday, October 2 following the publication of the article. She also said her store received a surprise visit from Target safety inspectors, also on that Wednesday.

"Our store manager did [a] safety walk with them in the backroom and made a list of violations that need to be fixed as well as violations on the sales floor," she said.

A team leader in a Texas Target said that all eight stores in his district received emails from the district team leader instructing them to immediately clean up their backrooms. 

"Now everybody is under pressure cleaning the backroom," he said, noting that some stores in his district are even allocating extra payroll to get this done. 

Another employee in a New Jersey Target said that his store received orders from district leaders to ensure that the backroom was free of issues highlighted in the report on Saturday. This employee's store was also warned that visits from the district manager in the future could be likely.

Business Insider spoke with 28 former and current Target workers for an article published October 2. Some 13 of them said they felt that shift changes had turned their backrooms into an unsafe work environment. Most of these workers — some current, some former employees — spoke on condition of anonymity so that they could speak frankly about working conditions and the situation more generally at Target.

A former leader in an overnight inbound team who worked at a New Hampshire Target for three years said that changes in her store began last September and took effect practically overnight. She left her job in February.

"There was a point where my store should have been shut down due to unsafe working conditions," she said.

Target declined to comment for this story.

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