Walmart will raise some workers wages after announcing record sales in the US – but its minimum wage will still be $11

Walmart
Walmart will give some associates a pay raise to at least $US13 ($17) an hour. Kena Betancur/VIEWpress via Getty Images
  • Walmart said it will raise pay for 425,000 frontline workers due to strong US sales. 
  • Some associates will receive pay boost to at least $US13 ($17), but the minimum wage will not change.
  • Amazon, Target, and Costco raised minimum wages to $US15 ($19) over the last few years.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Walmart said it will raise pay for 425,000 frontline workers.

Store associates who work in digital and stocking groups will receive a raise to between $US13 ($17) and $US19 ($24) an hour, based on the store’s location and market, according to John Furner, President and CEO, Walmart US. The wage increases will go into effect March 13.

Furner said the firm raised wages to reward workers after Walmart recorded nearly $US100 ($128) billion in sales in the fiscal fourth quarter, with the US business alone growing by $US29 ($37) billion.

But the country’s largest retailer said it expects sales growth to slow in 2021. Walmart shares were down 5% in premarket trading after the retailer said it expects net sales to grow by “low single-digits,” less than the 8.5% growth seen last year.

Walmart will not adjust its $US11 ($14) minimum wage for all employees, though. Amazon, Target, and Costco raised minimum wages to $US15 ($19) over the last few years after pressure from worker groups and labor advocates.

Walmart, which is the country’s largest employer, released a report in 2019 that said full-time, hourly store employees earn an average of $US14.26 ($18) an hour. A spokesperson told Insider that average pay for nearly half of hourly workers in the US will reach $US15 ($19) under the updated guidelines, but the company has not raised the official minimum wages to $US15 ($19).

After Joe Biden advocated for increasing the federal minimum wage on the campaign trail, top Democrats released a bill to increase it to $US15 ($19) by 2025. Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon has said he supports Congress’ efforts to raise minimum wages above $US7.25 ($9). 

“We completed a strong year and a strong Q4 thanks to our amazing associates,” McMillon said in the fourth quarter earnings report. “They stepped up to serve our customers and members exceptionally well during a busy holiday period in the midst of a pandemic.”

Walmart digital sales nearly doubled late last year as consumers spent more time shopping online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for household goods surged as more people stayed home, leading to massive growth for Walmart, Target, and Amazon as smaller retailers shuttered

Walmart expects e-commerce to remain a large part of the business after the pandemic subsides, according to Walmart Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside.

“I would imagine these next 12-t0-24 months, people aren’t going to quite know ‘is it normal?'” Whiteside said at this year’s National Retail Federation’s Chapter One conference. “So having the ability to learn with our customers, understand where they want to go, is going to be incredibly important.”