World news – Walmart promises raises for 425,000 workers after strong holiday sales

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Walmart Inc.

WMT 1.06%

reported strong Christmas sales and said it would raise wages for about 425,000 of its employees after a year the Covid-19 pandemic boosted its business.

The comparable sales in the US or in stores and digital channels, that operated for 12 months or more rose 8.6% for the quarter ended January 29. This is an acceleration from the third quarter, when sales rose 6.4% and exceeded most analysts’ projections. US e-commerce sales, which include online grocery orders, rose 69% year over year.

The country’s largest private employer said it would average wages for US workers above $ 15 increase per hour. The minimum starting wage for US workers will remain at $ 11 an hour.

The increases will apply to branch employees in digital and warehouse roles, said Walmart, US chief executive

John Furner.

This targets roles that were particularly important during the pandemic, including workers who collect products from shelves for online orders that are picked up in parking lots or delivered to your home. Walmart has worked to keep the shelves stocked as shoppers stock certain items like groceries and detergents.

« We have seen big changes in customer behavior over the past year that we believe will last. We need to keep working to stay in stock, deliver items on time and deliver the best possible omni experience, « said Furner.

Starting March 13, pay for employees in these roles will rise to $ 13-19 an hour, depending on the location of a store.

Rivals

Amazon.com Inc.

AMZN 1.21%

and

Target Corp.

TGT 1.58%

made $ 15 an hour their starting wage for all workers. The Biden government and Congress are considering raising the federal minimum wage to $ 7.25 an hour.

Walmart CEO

Doug McMillon

previously said the company believes the federal minimum wage should go up, but that $ 15 was too high for some regions and businesses.

Sales rose in the fourth quarter due to heavy Christmas shopping, with an additional one Boost when the US economic tests arrived in January, Walmart said. Grocery sales rose during the quarter, the company said.

Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter were $ 1.39, lower than the expected $ 1.51 analysts had expected according to FactSet. Walmart spent around $ 1.1 billion in the quarter on Covid-19-related expenses such as: B. for higher wages and benefits. The costs were partially offset by lower travel and service costs, the company said.

Walmart expects lower profits and slower growth for the new fiscal year. Like many other companies during the pandemic, Walmart, like many other companies during the pandemic, had stopped making financial projections in recent quarters .

As in previous quarters with Walmart, customer trips decreased but the average spend per visit increased. Some shoppers have shunned stores for health reasons, but make the most of every trip. During the last quarter, visits to the US decreased 10.9% while average spending increased 21.9%.

Walmart, the country’s top-selling retailer, has generally done well during the pandemic. He rushed to fill the shelves when shoppers stocked up at the start of the pandemic, and then benefited when a decline in restaurant meals resulted in more people cooking at home, stocking up on housewares and children’s entertainment. Unlike many retail competitors struggling before the pandemic, Walmart had already invested heavily in e-commerce, including picking up parking spaces for online orders, a service that is growing in popularity as more shoppers shop out of health Avoid Reasons.

Total Walmart revenue for the fourth quarter reached a record $ 152.1 billion, up 10.3% year over year, and operating income rose 3% to $ 5.5 billion . The company posted a quarterly net loss of $ 2.1 billion, driven by heavy losses tied to the upcoming sales of its operations in the UK and Japan.

Retailers have reported mixed results over an unusual holiday season, which started early and relied heavily on e-commerce sales. Quarterly sales rose 44% to $ 125.6 billion, according to Amazon, while Target’s comparable sales increased 17% year over year in November and December.

Tapestry Inc.,

TPR -1.05%

According to brands Coach and Kate Spade, sales fell during the holidays due to lower store traffic, while profits rose as discounts fell.

The trade department reported that retail sales, which include spending in restaurants and online, rose 5.3% in January from the previous month, seasonally adjusted. It was the strongest gain since last June, when the economy reopened on pandemic-related closings.

Ref: https://www.wsj.com

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