This is not a good thing.
WASHINGTON — In a move that could alter the minimum wage debate and improve the image of the world’s largest retailer, Walmart announced it will raise the baseline wage of its current store employees to $10 per hour, bringing pay hikes to an estimated 500,000 workers.
The company said in an announcement on Thursday that it would raise its wage floor to $9 in April, followed by a second boost to $10 by next February.
The decision follows similar moves by other major retailers such as Gap and IKEA, but the sheer size of Walmart sets the company apart. The Arkansas-based retailer is the largest private-sector employer in the U.S., with an estimated 1.4 million employees, and it is largely seen as a trend-setter in the retail industry.
On a quarterly earnings call aligned with the announcement, Doug McMillon, the company’s CEO, said raising wages would be good for both employees and customers.
“Overall, these are strategic investments in our people to reignite the sense of ownership they have in our stores,” McMillon said. “As a result, we firmly believe that our customers will benefit from a better store experience, which can drive higher sales and returns for our shareholders over time.”
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