Wednesday, June 5, 2024

"Yes, Walmart Store Managers Really Can Make $500,000 a Year" (WMT)

Add this datapoint to the UPS drivers making $170K in salary and benefits and, well, for what it's worth, there's something happening here.

From Bloomberg Businessweek, May 30:

In an effort to boost retention, the retailer has sweetened pay and stock incentives for its store chiefs, whose individual locations employ hundreds and can exceed $100 million in annual sales. 

After working as a Walmart store manager in the Dallas area for more than a decade, Greg Harden has seen it all. Walmart Inc.’s procedures for managing schedules for hundreds of store associates, keeping track of delivery vehicle arrivals and even operating gasoline pumps for customers had all become second nature. But earlier this year he got some news about Walmart that shocked him. The retailer redesigned its compensation scheme in a way that would significantly increase store manager pay with stock grants and bonuses. With the changes, Harden could make as much as $530,000 this year. “I almost fainted when I found out,” he says.

The world’s largest retailer is rethinking one of its most important roles after falling behind the competition. A couple of years ago, Walmart’s attrition rate for store managers spiked to almost double that of other big-box retailers such as Home Depot Inc. and Target Corp., according to data from human resources analytics company Revelio Labs Inc. Departures first ticked up when Walmart cut management ranks in the late 2010s, saddling those who remained with more work and longer hours, according to two former managers who declined to be named. At the time, the company was more focused on improving conditions for its hourly workers, investing billions in upgrading their wages.

From there, the manager attrition gap between Walmart and its competitors widened as the pandemic brought new challenges and obsolete technology made the job onerous and clunky. When Vanessa Bennett started as a manager at a Walmart in Grand Rapids, Michigan, two years ago, she says she used an old computer with outdated software for scheduling shifts. “It was absolutely awful,” she says of the technology. Manager Oscar Romero says his day began with 40 minutes of paperwork. “I’d have to go through reports to look at my sales. If I wanted to look at inventory, I’d have to go to another report,” says Romero, who oversees about 550 people at a Walmart in Calexico, California, near the Mexico border.

Souped-up compensation is just the most recent in a string of changes made to improve managers’ work life. New technology has cut down on hours of busywork, and new benefits include telehealth and doula services. The initiatives have helped boost retention and lowered turnover rates in the last year, says Cedric Clark, Walmart’s executive vice president of store operations. Engagement scores that measure how managers feel about their jobs have also risen, he says....


The doula perk is nice but I'm guessing the $500K is what WMT emplooyees are shooting for. 

Possibly related at Fortune, June 4:

The CEO of Walmart was rejected by Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton business schools