In line with other retailers across a range of sectors, Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) is enacting a temporary wage hike for its employees. The move is part of a set of measures the hardware retailer has put in place to cope with the economic and physical effects of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
The salary increase will be $2 per hour for all full-time, part-time, and seasonal "associates." This covers employees working not only in its North American retail stores, but also in supply-chain facilities and contact centers. The raise will be in force for the entirety of this month. The company said it currently has 300,000 "associates."
This follows a one-time payment Lowe's made to employees on March 31. Full-timers received $300 while their part-time and seasonal colleagues were paid $150 each. All told, $80 million was spent on these disbursements.
Other steps Lowe's is taking to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak include closing all stores at 7 p.m. local time, after which time inventory will be replenished and the facilities cleaned and sanitized. Employees on site will be provided masks and gloves upon request.
The retailer has also added "social distancing ambassadors" responsible for maintaining recommended space between people in various sections of its stores. Plexiglass shields have also been installed at all registers.
"We are continually working on ways to protect and support our associates and our customers during this time when we are all adjusting how we work and live," Lowe's said in its operational update announcing these measures.
Shares of Lowe's, a high profile consumer goods stock, rose by 3% in trading on Thursday. This slightly outpaced the gains recorded by the major stock market indexes.