Sam’s Club employees check bills after a customer purchase, while other shoppers wait in line at a Sam’s Club store during the “El Buen Fin” (The Good Weekend) shopping season to pay for purchases as coronavirus disease (COVID 19) Outbreak continues, in Mexico City, Mexico, November 10, 2020.
Henry Romero | Reuters
Sam’s Club announced Tuesday that it would raise its minimum wage from $ 11 to $ 15 later this month.
With the move, the membership-based warehouse club now has a noticeably higher starting wage than its parent company Walmart, which recently raised the minimum hourly wage from $ 11 to $ 12. The salary increases at Sam’s Club and Walmart will go into effect on September 25th.
Sam’s Club has nearly 600 stores and approximately 100,000 employees. In a memo sent to employees, Kath McLay, CEO of Sam’s Club, said that most employees – about 95% – are already making at least $ 15 an hour. However, she said the retailer will bring all hourly workers to this level and increase pay for other roles.
According to McLay, Sam’s Club employees can earn up to $ 34 an hour in the future – an increase from the maximum hourly wage of $ 29.70 they could previously earn depending on their location. She said the average hourly rate will be more than $ 17.
“We want you to get paid competitively, whether you’ve found your target job as a forklift operator, meat cutter, cake decorator, or you’re just starting out and climbing the ladder,” she said. “We want you to know that Sam’s Club is a place where you have the opportunity to get promoted, earn a degree or change direction.”
More than 34% of the hourly workforce at Sam’s Club will receive a raise from the end of September as a variety of positions are getting a raise, according to the company. For example, hourly hourly wages for team leaders start at $ 19 an hour versus $ 18, forklift drivers start at $ 17 instead of $ 15, and personal shoppers make at least $ 16 instead of $ 15.
In the past few months, retailers from CVS Health to Target have offered higher wages and new perks as they try to recruit and retain employees in a tight job market where job vacancies exceed the number of unemployed Americans. They also had to fill more supply chain-related roles, from freight handlers to online order issuers, as consumers spend money they saved during the pandemic and shop in new ways.
Sam’s Club’s parent company, Walmart, is the country’s largest private employer with nearly 1.6 million employees. Walmart and Sam’s Club have lagged behind competitors like Target and Amazon, who are already paying all employees at least $ 15 an hour. Costco, one of Sam’s Club’s biggest rivals, raised its minimum wage to $ 16 earlier this year.
Sam’s Club saw sales soar during the pandemic. Membership has hit an all-time high in the past few quarters, although the company does not disclose how many members it has.
It introduced new, technology-based features to differentiate itself from Costco. Sam’s Club, for example, has introduced a new app-based option that allows shoppers in select stores to take home some items they have purchased and others, e.g.