Lowe's (LOW) Enhances Bonus, Supports Employees Amid Pandemic
Lowe’s Companies Inc. LOW has been recognizing the efforts of its frontline workers, who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic, through special payments and bonuses. In April, the company scaled up the payment for full-time, part-time and seasonal associates by $2 per hour. Taking this further, it has now committed to pay an additional $100 million of discretionary bonuses to its frontline hourly workers across U.S. stores, distribution centers and store support centers.
The company plans to pay $300 to all full-time hourly associates and $150 for the part-time and seasonal associates. The bonus will be distributed to all associates in the United States on Oct 16. This will match the payments of all hourly associates in March, May, July and August.
So far amid the pandemic, the company has provided more than $675 million in incremental financial support to associates. With the payment of the aforementioned additional bonus, its total commitment for associates and communities during the pandemic reaches more than $775 million.
Additionally, in a separate release, Lowe's Canada revealed plans to reward frontline workers with additional discretionary bonuses. The company stated that all eligible full-time and part-time associates at Lowe's, RONA or Reno-Depot corporate stores, contact centers, and supply-chain facilities in Canada will receive the aforementioned bonuses in the latter half of October. This is incremental to the discretionary bonus paid in March and August as well as the special premium wage of $2 per hour paid in April, May, June and July.
Apart from this, Lowe’s Canada revealed that it plans to hire more than 650 people for various positions in Quebec, including more than 625 full-time and part-time regular jobs at RONA and Reno-Depot corporate stores, and about 30 positions at the Boucherville distribution center. The positions offered are that of Sales Specialists, Lumber Yard Associates, Department Managers, Cashiers, Stockers, and Customer Service Assistants. The virtual hiring event will be conducted on Oct 15-16.
Evidently, Lowe’s has been providing financial support to its frontline employees since the beginning of the pandemic. In second-quarter 2020, the company invested $460 million to support the frontline hourly associates, communities and store safety. During the first half of fiscal 2020, it spent $560 million to financially support its associates amid the pandemic, and $100 million as community pandemic relief. Moreover, its second-quarter performance led to a record quarterly Winning Together profit-sharing bonus for its hourly associates at 100% of its outlets, worth $107 million.
Shares of the company reflected 2.1% growth following the news. Moreover, the Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock has gained 24.2% compared with the industry’s growth of 14.5%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Other Retailers Recognizing Workers’ Efforts Amid Pandemic
Another company, that well-recognized the efforts of its workers during the pandemic, is The Home Depot Inc. HD. In the fiscal second quarter, the company incurred an additional $480 million to provide incremental benefits to its associates, including weekly bonuses for hourly associates in stores and distribution centers. Year to date, it has spent $1.3 billion for enhanced pay and benefits in response to the pandemic. Moreover, the company’s performance in the first half resulted in a record payout of success sharing under its profit-sharing program for hourly associates.
Additionally, Target Corp. TGT incurred $400 million of investments related to team members’ pay benefits and measures to protect the health and safety of guests as well as its team during second-quarter fiscal 2020.
Also, The Kroger Co. KR is among the retailers that have been incurring costs related to additional employee payments and benefits, along with investments undertaken to preserve the safety and health of customers and team members amid the coronavirus. We note that the company’s COVID-19-related cost investments in associates, cleaning, safety and supply chain amounted to roughly $250 million for the quarter.
Moreover, as part of Restock Kroger announced in 2017, Kroger will invest an incremental $800 million in associate wage increases between 2018 and 2020, which is $300 million more than the original plan. As a result of this continuing investment, the company increased its average hourly rate to more than $15.
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