Walmart has announced its quarterly employee bonuses to more than 915,000 hourly U.S. workers will total more than $200 million. In Arkansas that equated to $4.64 million paid out in Sept. 6 paychecks. The store bonus program rewards stores that achieve sales and customer service goals.
“We are excited to show our thanks to our wonderful associates for their hard work and dedication to serve our customers,” said Amy Corso, Walmart vice president and regional general manager. “We are always looking to make our customers’ lives easier and we couldn’t do that without the help of our associates.”
The recent strong sales and traffic figures build on the positive momentum of the U.S. business, which has enabled a positive local impact across Arkansas through store employee bonuses, wage increases and innovation and improvement to stores, among other investments, the retailer noted in the release.
Walmart has not been on the upper end among its retail competitors for its pay structure, but in recent years the Bentonville-based retail giant has raised starting pay to keep up with minimum wage hikes. In January, Walmart announced a starting wage of $11 per hour this year, up from $9 an hour until workers complete a training program which then raised pay to $10 per hour.
Competitor Aldi is recruiting in Northwest Arkansas for cashiers and store employees boasting a $12 per hour starting wage. Target also raised its starting pay to $12 per hour this year pledging to reach $15 by 2020. Walmart says its total benefit package compares well against other retailers. This year Walmart announced expanded maternity and parental leave benefits and it gave a one-time employee bonus from federal tax law changes. Also Walmart said it recently launched limited education benefits that allow store employees to earn a college degree without incurring student loan debt.
Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran has said the retailer pays a competitive wage which varies across markets. Given Arkansas has a lower cost of living than California, he said salaries are adjusted to ensure the retailer has enough workers to run its stores. On its website Walmart notes it employs 50,913 regular, full-time hourly employees in Arkansas stores. The average wage is $13.85 per hour. Using these metrics the average bonus paid out to Arkansas store employees this quarter was $91.13. Some workers earned more and some less depending on store performance.
In California, Walmart paid out more than $6.73 million in second quarter bonuses to roughly 91,657 store employees who earn an average hourly wage of $14.85. The average bonus pay amounts to $50.51 for the quarter.
Glassdoor reviewed the salaries of 157,000 Walmart employees in Arkansas and found the average cashier wage in Arkansas was $9.02 per hour, which met the national average. Customer service cashiers earned an average of $9.53 per hour, while retail sales employees earned $9.77 per hour. Deli workers earned an average of $10.23, while those working in electronics earned $10.44 per hour. Personal shoppers who pick online grocery orders earn an average of $10.82 per hour. Managers in the garden center earn $10.38 per hour, while produce workers make an average of $10.48 per hour. Store managers across Arkansas earn an average salary of $69,000, before bonus pay which can be nearly equal to the salary. Front-end managers, another salary position at Walmart, pays an average of $24,150, according to Glassdoor.
Comparing to data in a higher wage state like California, Arkansas wages are not that far off, according to Glassdoor. The average pay for cashiers was $10.12, roughly 12% more than in Arkansas. Customer service cashiers in California earn $10.71, also 12% more than in Arkansas. Deli and produce workers earn about 11% more in California at $11.39 per hour. Personal shoppers earn an average of $11.44 per hour, just 5.7% more than in Arkansas. Retail sales clerks actually made 4 cents an hour more in Arkansas than in California. Management positions paid more than in Arkansas with store managers earning an average salary of $86,553.
Most of the store jobs at Walmart are hourly positions, including most department managers. Only store managers and assistant managers are usually salary positions. Walmart does not provide bonus information on its home office employees in Arkansas, California, and New Jersey in addition to other states. Bonus pay at the home office level is greater than the store level. Buyers at the home office receive annual bonuses based on their profits and losses in relation to company goals. Glassdoor reports average annual bonus pay for senior buyers surveyed was $50,000, for a combined compensation package worth $156,000.
Bonus pay to the top earning executives at Walmart are made public annually in the company’s proxy filing each April. CEO Doug McMillon earned a cash bonus of $4.74 million based on financial performance from last year. Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs earned a $2.3 million bonus, Greg Foran, CEO of Walmart U.S., earned $2.92 million and Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart U.S. eCommerce, earned $2.79 million.
In March, the top eight executives at Walmart also received more than $39 million in deferred compensation bonuses based on the company’s financial performance in fiscal 2018. The top eight executives received 437,679 shares of restricted stock that will fully vest on Jan. 31, 2020 as long as the executive remains employed by the retailer. This came on the heels of 97,713 shares of restricted stock these same eight executives cumulatively received in January.