Employee investment | Walmart increases average store manager salary from $117,000 to $128,000

Walmart increases average store manager salary from $117,000 to $128,000

Walmart told store managers on Thursday that it would be increasing their average salary from $117,000 to $128,000 per year.

The raise will be effective from February 1 2024. The increase applies to the minimum starting base salary new store managers can earn, rather than the maximum packet.

Previously, the starting base salary fell between $65,000 - $170,000, with the new range sitting at $90,000 - $170,000, representing a nine per cent bump in average pay.

The retail giant also announced in the memo to employees that it is redesigning the store manager bonus program. The new bonus scheme increases the weight of store profits when calculating the bonus, alongside sales, allowing store managers to earn up to 200% of their base salary.

Cedric Clark, Executive Vice President, Store Operations, Walmart U.S., explains to store managers that the company is “on a journey of investing in our associates - from offering competitive front-line pay to benefits that support associates’ health and well-being in all aspects of life.”

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The memo also highlights Walmart’s focus on achieving its business goals through its people. “Making Walmart the best place to shop means we need to make it the best place to work,” Clark writes.

Walmart estimates this pay increase will take the average hourly wage rate for employees up to $18. In January 2023, it announced it would bring the U.S. average hourly wage up to $17.50 by increasing its minimum wage from $12 to $14 per hour.

Clark also emphasizes the pay increase is designed to reward store managers for their work with customers, employees, and the business.

“The number one driver of job satisfaction is an associate’s manager, and we believe that you – our front-line leaders – are the best in retail,” Clark notes.

“Not only are you responsible for exceeding customer expectations day in and day out; each of you is the CEO of a multimillion-dollar business. And you’re the driving force behind the development of our next generation of leaders.”

Beyond pay, Walmart celebrates the work of its employees by recognizing them for their development and achievements. In 2023, the retailer posted several articles on its website highlighting the career path of store managers, including “From Marine to Manager” and “Helena’s Journey from Brazil to Alaska.”

The memo notes that as many as 75% of Walmart’s 1.6 million-strong workforce began their career as hourly workers, including Clark himself. CEO and President Doug McMillan also began his Walmart career as an hourly worker, having joined the company as a summer associate whilst in high school.

“I was able to grow my career because people invested in me,” says Clark. “And the possibilities are endless for you and for everyone you lead every day.”

This latest example of employee investment is a sign that Walmart plans to win the battle for acquiring and retaining 'the best front-line workers in retail' by creating viable long-term career paths for all workers, and rewarding them appropriately.

There are signs that this approach is working. Walmart was certified as a Great Place to Work in 2023, with 72% of employees at Walmart saying it is a great place to work, compared to 57% of employees at a typical U.S.-based company.

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