Walmart has already paid out $550 million in employee bonuses during the coronavirus pandemic, and today it announced an additional $390 million. This $390 million will be distributed as $300 for full-time hourly associates and $150 for part-time hourly and temporary associates who were employed by the company as of June 5. The bonuses will be distributed on June 25.
The first special cash bonus, with the same payout amounts for individual associates, was distributed on April 2. Walmart also accelerated the payout for the Q1 associate incentive bonuses to April 30 to provide more cash in hand sooner. These three rounds of cash bonuses equate to more than $935 million so far this year.
“Walmart and Sam’s Club associates continue to do remarkable work, and it’s important we reward and appreciate them,” said John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. “All across the country, they’re providing Americans with the food, medicine and supplies they need, while going above and beyond the normal scope of their jobs – diligently sanitizing their facilities, making customers and members feel safe and welcome, and handling difficult situations with professionalism and grace.”
Walmart onboarded 150,000 new associates in less than a month and has committed to hiring 50,000 more associates as soon as possible. It has implemented daily health screens and temperature checks, provided masks and gloves, and offered emotional well-being options such as virtual counseling. Walmart has also installed sneeze guards, limited the number of customers in stores, installed social distancing signage and instituted sanitizing protocols.
“We are so grateful to our associates for being there for customers and members during this difficult time, serving communities across the country,” said Kathryn McLay, president and CEO of Sam’s Club. “Our associates’ efforts have been exactly what the country needed during this historic and uncertain time. They’ve made a real difference.”
The announcement of another round of bonuses comes at a time when other food retailers may be slowing down additional pay. According to published reports, The Kroger Co. will be ending its $2-per-hour "hero pay" as of May 17. This bonus as been in place since March 29.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's list of the top food retailers in North America, while Walmart-owned Sam's Club ranks No. 9 on the list.