Despite harm, laying off workers is a wise business decision by Target


Graphic by Paul Hudachek

Sofie Wicklund

Almost 500 Target workers returned home jobless on Jan. 22 after the corporation enacted employee cuts and removed 700 open positions. Target is still struggling to recover from the shocking credit violation that occurred in late November and early December. Thus, the cut back on employees, although hurtful to many, was a wise decision on Target’s behalf.

2013 was a financial downspin that overturned an optimistic Target goal. Recently, the company expanded into Canada with high hopes. However, sales were unsatisfactory both there and in the United States and did not meet expectations. Target hoped for a holiday shopping season that would bring a large revenue to help cover the expansion costs, but unfortunately, the credit hackers struck at the worst possible time, between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Target stores number almost 1,800 in the United States and 124 in Canada. Soon after the identity theft news went public, Target stocks dropped over 2 percent in one day.

Over the years, Target has become a large figure in retail and provisions for many. Such a large figure, in fact, that an economic plunge for Target could largely impact the rest of the economy. Financial instability for this company could shake the stock market significantly.

Target was one of several retailers that were victims to the holiday hacking. Nearly 40 million consumers’ credit and debit card information was made vulnerable by the identity theft, causing it to be the second-largest credit card breach in our country’s history.

Target was put in a very tough situation by the theft. Sales dropped as consumers chose to shop elsewhere. Many angry customers threatened to stop shopping at Target until the culprits were caught or the causes of the identity theft were determined.

“We informed our team that approximately 475 positions are being eliminated worldwide,” said Target Corporation in a statement. “We believe that these decisions, while difficult, are the right actions as we continue to focus on transforming our business.”

Although job layoffs are distressing in any field and many have the right to be angry with the company, Target made a decision that could stop other layoffs from happening in larger numbers in the future. If Target had not made cutbacks on both its already existing workforce, and its available positions, it would likely not be able to keep up with its finances. Thus, the risk of Target going into debt would be higher, and the risk of that debt spreading throughout the market would be seemingly unavoidable.

Hopefully, the cuts Target has had to make will allow it to regain some of the elevation it has lost over the past year. In turn, this will help the company return to its previous, successful state, creating more job opportunities for those who had to be cut.