In the midst of a tight retail labor market, Walmart is increasing its minimum wage $1 to $12 an hour, and will give raises to more than 565,000 of its 1.6 million workers in the U.S., multiple sources report. Additionally, the grocery behemoth is taking another stab at offering grocery delivery to New York City, this time through a partnership with Instacart, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Walmart’s new $12 minimum wage — which was announced to staff in a memo from the company’s U.S. President and CEO John Furner — is still below the $15 an hour offered by competitors Target and Amazon. Walmart first began testing a $12 minimum wage in 500 stores in early 2020. The expansion of the higher base wages will not be rolled out across Walmart’s entire hourly workforce, but instead will be focused on those who work registers, restock shelves and in the food and household goods areas.
In the memo, Furner said that raising the wage for these workers will bring the average wage for all Walmart hourly employees to $16.40 an hour. The news comes on the heels of an announcement that Walmart plans to permanently hire 20,000 additional warehouse and supply chain workers. The average wage for a Walmart supply chain associate is $20.37 per hour.
Multiple sources also report that Walmart is making another attempt at bringing grocery delivery to New York City, beginning with parts of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. With no physical stores in any of the five boroughs, Instacart will fulfill orders from the area’s two closest locations, in Valley Stream, N.Y. and Secaucus, N.J. Grocery delivery in Manhattan will not yet be available.
In 2020, Walmart edged out Amazon as the leading grocery ecommerce retailer in the U.S. But while 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart, grocery delivery in the nation’s most populous city has proven a tough nut to crack for the big box giant. After facing resistance from city officials, who have historically balked at the idea of a Walmart in Manhattan, the retailer tried to offer grocery delivery in NYC through its subsidiary Jet.com. That venture failed in 2019 when Walmart did away with Jet.com, rolling its operations into the larger Walmart.com website. The retailer tried to maintain grocery delivery in Manhattan via a separate personal shopping service targeted to “busy NYC moms” called JetBlack, but that effort was abandoned in 2020.