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Walmart to Pay Out $700 Million in Bonuses to Employees

By Rich Duprey - Dec 3, 2020 at 11:43AM

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The retail giant has enjoyed large sales and profit gains during the pandemic.

Walmart ( WMT 1.51% ) is planning to share its good fortune with employees, announcing Thursday it will be paying out over $700 million in bonuses to its U.S. workers.

The retail giant said it will provide some $315 million in "special" cash payments paid to workers in their Nov. 25 paycheck, and another tranche of bonuses totaling $388 million that will be paid on Dec. 24.

The payments will bring the total amount Walmart has given its employees in bonuses this year to $2.8 billion. All of Walmart's 1.5 million workers at its namesake stores, Sam's Club stores, and its distribution and fulfillment centers are eligible for the bonus.

Walmart store sign

Image source: Walmart.

Sharing the wealth

As the country's largest retailer, Walmart has been able to profit at the expense of speciality retailers and smaller competitors that were forced to close their businesses during the pandemic.

Although they sold many of the same goods as Walmart and could implement safety protocols as easily as their rival, they were not deemed "essential businesses."

Walmart used the opportunity to steal sales and market share from its competitors, some which fell into bankruptcy. Walmart reported revenue of almost $135 billion in the third quarter, up 5% from last year, on a 6.4% increase in comparable sales. Adjusted operating profits surged 16.4%.

While early on much of the gains were from higher food sales, this quarter general merchandise and health and wellness products made large contributions, too.

Among the major retailers that declared bankruptcy in the third quarter were household goods retailer Muji, Lord & Taylor, Tailored Brands, and SteinMart.

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