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With Minimum Wage on the Rise, These Are Some of the Retailers With the Highest Starting Pay

The movement toward a higher minimum wage is on the rise — and some of the country’s biggest retailers are coming out on top.

At the start of the year, annual cost-of-living adjustments and other scheduled gains led wages to jump by pennies to a dollar for workers across 20 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont and Washington.

Later in the year, another four states — Connecticut, Nevada, Oregon and Virginia — plus Washington, D.C., will see an increase in their baseline pay.

Some retailers have hiked pay and benefits in an attempt to attract and retain workers — perhaps as well as incentivize them to return to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Others, however, raised wages as part of previously announced plans.

Amazon

The online giant’s minimum wage for all U.S.-based employees currently stands at $18 per hour — more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Costco

The membership-only warehouse chain’s minimum wage has increased to $16 this fall. During a Senate panel hearing, CEO Craig Jelinek shared that more than half of U.S. employees are “paid at the top of our scales, in excess of $25 an hour.”

CVS

The pharmacy giant has announced its plan to achieve $15 hourly minimum wages for all employees by July 2022, with hourly increases beginning late last month.

Dollar General

According to investment banking firm UBS, which analyzed the employee-reported salaries of 25 major nationwide retailers in the United States, Dollar General pays its workers the least of the group but still above the national minimum at $9.68 an hour on average.

Dollar Tree

Dollar General isn’t the only discount chain that pays better than minimum wage: UBS reported that Dollar Tree’s starting pay is $10 per hour on average.

Saks Off Fifth

The discount arm of Saks Fifth Avenue announced on Oct. 14 that it would raise minimum wages for all hourly store associates in North America to $15 per hour. Saks Off Fifth also said it would give associates a $500 appreciation bonus.

Sam’s Club

Starting last month, the Arkansas-based retailer raised its starting hourly salary  from $11 to $15.

Target

In July, the Minneapolis-based company made good on a target (no pun intended) to raise its starting pay from $13 to $15 by year’s end.

Under Armour

In June 2021, Under Armour raised its minimum wage to $15 as a way of luring people back to work amid a labor shortage.

Walgreens

The Chicago-based pharmacy announced plans to raise its minimum hourly pay to $15 last month. Gradual raises have already begun, with the goal to be put in effect for all of Walgreens’ 9,000 stores by November 2022.

Wayfair

The home goods retailer has raised wages as of this January for all U.S. employees, who will make at least $15 per hour.

Walmart

The Bentonville, Ark.-based business improved wages for about 165,000 hourly workers — or roughly 11% of its U.S. workforce — in October as part of the rollout of a new operating model in its Supercenter stores. Its minimum wage remains at $11. Depending on location and market, some associates average around $16.40.

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