Walmart boosts starting pay, closes dozens of Sam's Clubs

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Numerous company's more than one million employees will get wage increases, but they'll also see benefits from the benefits changes Walmart plans to make.

"We are early in the stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and to further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders", said McMillon.

On the same day that the company boosted its starting pay to $11 an hour, it said it was closing 63 Sam's Club warehouse locations. And for years, I've had a related business in pointing out that Costco and Walmart actually have dramatically different business models, for all that they may look the same from the vantage point of a coastal professional. "What's impossible to sort out is how much of this is because of savings from the tax cuts, and how much is because of pressure they're receiving from employees and labor groups".

News media reported closures of stores in Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, Alaska, Ohio, New York, Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. Paying workers more will help ensure those stores are pleasant shopping environments - a necessity for Walmart if it is to keep growing its sales.

Stores like Target have already moved to $11 an hour. "We need $15 and full time to be able to support our families".

Walmart said the pay increases apply to all its hourly workers in the United States, including those at its Sam's Club stores. Those workers previously received up to eight weeks of maternity leave at half-pay, and were not entitled to parental leave.

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Walmart is now the world's largest company by revenue and the largest private employer in the world, with 2.3 million employees. The bonuses will cost it about $400 million in this fiscal year, which ends on January 31.

In a press release, Walmart stated the action was taken after a thorough performance review.

It joins dozens of companies including American Airlines and Bank of America that have announced worker bonuses following the passage of the Republican tax plan that slashed the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. As a result of the three closings, 419 employees will be laid off.

Ivanka Trump tweeted that "America is on a roll", and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin thanked Walmart from the White House briefing room.

"We were thinking that the retails would do better this year, not be closing". The company is forecast to make $20.3 billion of pre-tax profit in 2018.