"They're making strategic moves across the country in response to the changing retail environment", he said.
The new tax plan lowered corporate tax rates for several large companies.
In all, Walmart employs 1.5 million in the U.S. So competitive is the market that Morgan Stanley reckons in most cases only 50 percent of what retailers save in tax will make it back to investors. That store will close January 26th, but no word on what exact dates the other stores will close.
Just hours after announcing they were boosting starting salaries for workers and giving a $1,000 cash bonus, Walmart is reportedly closing dozens of Sam's Club stores. "I've been shopping here for years and I don't think they had a clue that this was happening to them". But most employees are expected to get a few hundred dollars. Employees appear to have been given no advance warning, and confusion reigned for most of the day. Target had raised its minimum hourly wage to $11 in October, and said it would raise wages to $15 by the end of 2020.
The federal minimum hourly wage has been $7.25 since 2009. But experts are more doubtful that there's a connection. "The rise of e-commerce is leading to higher wages".
Assuming a 40-hour work week, the $300 million increase the company expects in its wage bill would suggest fewer than one in 10 USA staff will benefit directly.
But it wasn't all good news.
Also on Thursday, Walmart announced that it was closing 63 Sam's Club stores and laying off thousands of workers around the country.
In the tweet, Sam's Club today "After a thorough review of our existing portfolio, we've chose to close a series of clubs and better align our locations with our strategy". The company credits the new tax plan for the decision. Please see the Company's risk factors, as they may be amended from time to time, set forth in its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for its fiscal quarter ended October 31, 2017.
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Walmart is also expanding its maternity and parental leave policies for full-time workers, adding an adoption benefit of $5,000 to help cover costs. Walmart said it expects the wage increase to cost $300 million for its next fiscal year, which starts February 1, and the bonuses to cost $400 million. But not as happy as I'd be to know that companies were finding great new businesses to build that would make us all a whole lot richer 10 or 20 years down the road.
The incongruity of some workers receiving raises and others losing their jobs without any notice aroused worker advocacy groups.
If you are one of the majority of people who do not work at Walmart, why should you care about this?
Walmart representatives did not respond to a question about the timing of the dual developments. That's below the national poverty line for a family of three. "Walmart can give $11 an hour but how many people will be working?"