Walmart Inc. reported strong holiday sales and said it would increase the salaries of about 425,000 of its employees after a year in which the Covid-19 pandemic boosted its business.
Comparable sales in the U.S., or those of digital stores and channels that operated for at least 12 months, increased 8.6% in the quarter ended January 29, an acceleration from the third quarter, when sales Sales rose 6.4% and more than most analysts’ forecasts. E-commerce sales in the US, which include online grocery orders, were up 69% from the prior year.
The nation’s largest private employer said it would raise the wages of American workers to an average of more than $ 15 an hour. His starting minimum wage for American workers will remain at $ 11 an hour.
The pay increases will be for store workers in digital and warehousing functions, said Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner. That points to roles that have been especially important during the pandemic, including workers collecting products from store shelves for online ordering that is picked up from parking lots or delivered to homes. Walmart has worked to keep shelves stocked while shoppers stock certain items like food and cleaning supplies.
“We saw major changes in customer behavior last year that we believe will be long-lasting and we have to keep working to maintain stock, deliver items on time and provide the best omni-directional experience possible,” said Furner.