Walmart announced last week they will soon start paying their 500,000 employees a $9/hour minimum. And next year the minimum wage jumps to $10/hour.
As paltry as these raises may seem to the well-employed, they matter to employees trying to raise children on a Walmart paycheck. And they also matter because they’re evidence Walmart realizes its compensation policies are no longer sustainable – not just from the recruiting/retention perspective but from customer sensitivity to the increasing social stigma of doing business with companies that mistreat employees. I know many buyers who simply won’t walk into a Walmart store under any circumstances along with many more choosing not to unless that’s all they can afford. Walmart’s recent sales numbers show it, and the Arkansas folks are figuring out cause and effect.
Of course, most business analysts and market “experts” remain constitutionally unable to admit customers matter enough to change corporate policy. But now Walmart has cried “uncle.” Do you see any other turnarounds like this in the offing?