Macy's Announces $15 Minimum Wage and Tuition Coverage Program
Macy's said Monday it will raise its minimum wage for new and current workers to $15 per hour by next May, reports CNBC. The retailer has already phased in the $15 hour rate "across several markets" and plans to achieve a national rollout by May 2022, according to a press release. Over the summer Macy's enacted pay increases to $15 an hour for all distribution center workers. Once the higher pay is in effect, Macy’s average base pay will be above $17 per hour, and average total pay will be $20 an hour, the company said.
The department store chain is also adding an education benefit that will cover 100 percent of tuition, books and fees. Macy’s is partnering with Guild Education on the program, which will include bachelor’s degrees, boot camps, English language learning and professional certificates, among other options. The retailer said it expects this program to cost it $35 million over the next four years. Macy's will also offer corporate and hourly workers one additional flexible paid holiday so workers can "take a day off on a holiday that's most important to them," per the release.
Total Retail's Take: Macy’s joins a growing list of businesses boosting wages and benefits to win over workers in a tight labor market. Target, Walmart, Chipotle, Starbucks, and other retailers already offer similar perks. While higher hourly wages are one way to attract talent, added benefits like education support and schedule flexibility are now more commonly expected by retail workers. Employees want to know that they're valued by their organization and that the company is willing to invest in individuals' professional development. Macy's isn't blind to its current and potential workers' needs.
"By investing in our colleagues’ education and financial well-being, we’re determined to make it possible for them to bring the best of themselves to work every day and to enable them to pursue their own aspirations within and outside of Macy’s, Inc.," said Danielle Kirgan, the company's chief transformation and human resources officer. According to the company press release, in recent years Macy's has also worked to achieve greater pay equity and implemented new colleague incentive programs. These added benefits are likely to put Macy's in a better place to compete with other retailers for talent in the new year.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Total Retail and sister brands Women in Retail Leadership Circle and Women Leading Travel & Hospitality at NAPCO Media. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for all brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, WLT&H or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment—or at home on Zoom—recording interviews with thought leaders and business executives.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her family and two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.