Wal-Mart in February said it would boost the pay of 500,000 associates at its U.S. stores and on Tuesday the retailer added 100,000 hourly employees in leadership roles such as department supervisors in areas such as apparel, consumer goods and electronics, whose wages it plans to raise in July.
The move comes as Wal-Mart’s U.S. growth remains sluggish. The company has been dealing with complaints about poorly stocked shelves for some time and is hoping that the pay increases will lift morale. “We what to make Wal-Mart a better place to work and better place to shop,” said a Wal-Mart spokesman. “That includes investing in wages, training and scheduling. Another thing we’re doing is a sales floor restructuring. We’re adding 8,000 more department managers.”
The new wage for department managers in apparel and consumer goods will be $10.90 to $20.71 an hour, from $9.90 to $19.31. Managers of departments such as auto care and electronics will see hourly wages of $13 to $24.70, from $10.30 to $20.90, and deli workers’ pay scale will rise to $9.90 to $18.81, from $9.20 to $18.53 an hour.
The wage increases were revealed as preparations are being made for the Wal-Mart annual shareholders meeting, an extravaganza that takes place on Friday. Investors are unhappy about the wage hikes. During Wal-Mart’s recent first-quarter earnings update, the retailer said it’s expecting a loss of 20 cents a share this year due to the $1 billion in wage increases that began in April.