The question of whether businesses are preparing for a return to pre-pandemic shopping patterns or are facing a cooling labour market is raised by Walmart’s decision to reduce the beginning salary for new Walmart store employees who pick and pack online orders and stock shelves.
Pay cut for New Personal Shoppers and Stockers
The corporation acknowledged that starting pay for new personal shoppers and stockers was decreased in July. These Walmart store employees assist with stocking store shelves and preparing orders for curbside collection or delivery to clients’ houses. The starting pay for new Walmart store employees who join the digital or stocking teams is currently $1/hour less than it was when they were hired a few months ago.
No current employees in those positions had their salary reduced, according to Walmart spokeswoman Anne Hatfield. She stated that as part of the July move, Walmart also adjusted the pay bands for more seasoned workers, which resulted in a pay increase for almost 50,000 Walmart store employees.
With 1.6 million employees, Walmart is the largest private employer in the United States and is closely monitored by economists and business leaders, many of whom have been looking for clues as to whether the rate of pay and product inflation is slowing. As the labour market remained tight and its compensation lagged behind competitors like Amazon and Target, it raised the minimum wage for Walmart store employees from $12 to $14 in January. Hatfield declined to say whether the hiring process has gotten simpler for the business.
What are the Probable Reasons?
Walmart stated in a statement that the adjustment was made to ensure that all store employees received the same starting salary, whether they assisted customers with online shopping, stocked shelves, or worked at the cash register. The statement read, “Regardless of where they start, consistent starting pay results in consistent staffing and better customer service while also creating new opportunities for associates to gain new skills from experience across the store.”
The Wall Street Journal broke the news of the salary changes first. For personal shoppers and stockers working for Walmart, the increased compensation started in March 2021. It increased pay for 425,000 workers, whose starting pay now ranges from $13 to $19 per hour depending on the location and market of the store.
Walmart began treating those workers more like specialists after the change. Some other positions, like those who design cakes in the bakery or change oil in the auto centres, also have greater starting salaries. The big-box store was experiencing increased food and online sales at the time of the transition. More Americans were getting Covid-19 shots and spending money on products like teeth whitener to help them start going out again.