The company is offering a one-time bonus to all full and part-time employees based on their length of service, rising to $1000 for employees with 20 years of service. "It's our people who make the difference and we appreciate how they work hard to make every day easier for busy families". The tax law gives the retailer an opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate investment plans for the United States, he said.
Walmart is using the windfall the GOP just gave Corporate America to score a public-relations coup, with a strategic move that would have been smart even without a tax cut. Salaried employees will also receive six weeks of paid parental leave.
Wal-Mart's announcement follows companies like AT&T Inc, Wells Fargo & Co. and Boeing Co., which have all promised more pay for workers after the Republican-controlled US Congress passed a tax bill that slashed the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.
The announcement comes after rival Target raised its hourly starting wage to $11 late past year, with plans to increase it to $15 by 2020.
The combined wage and benefit changes will benefit the company's more than one million US hourly associates. Paying workers more will help ensure those stores are pleasant shopping environments - a necessity for Walmart if it is to keep growing its sales.
Taking effect next month, the wage hike will be about $300 million incremental to what was already included in next fiscal year's plan. Salaries associates will also receive six weeks of paid paternal leave. Hourly workers will be paid between $11 and $24.70 an hour.
Parental leave has been another area in which retailers including Target and Ikea have been trying to offer better benefits. The idea is to reward employees who won't benefit from the new starting wage. It has done well and strengthened its hand in online retail as many other retailers have struggled. Walmart on Thursday promised full-time hourly USA employees 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave.
But raising wages is something you could argue Walmart needed to do even in a less-favorable tax environment.
The company will also expand hourly leave, "providing full-time hourly associates in the US with 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave", it says.
The company is also creating a new benefit that provides financial assistance to its employees who are looking to adopt a child, giving them as much as $5,000 per child to cover expenses such as adoption agency fees, translation fees and legal costs. Walmart's online business is surging.