Walgreens to raise wages for hourly workers to $15 by November 2022

A person enters a Walgreens store in San Francisco, California, United States on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance announced Tuesday that it would gradually increase its hourly wages, with a goal of reaching $ 15 an hour by November 2022.

There will be the first salary increases in October. The current starting wage is $ 10 an hour, but the company said about half of its 190,000 hourly workers make at least $ 15 an hour.

The move comes as retailers compete for workers in a tight labor market. Earlier this month, competitor CVS Health raised its minimum wage and lifted its employee education requirements. CVS plans to increase its hourly wage from $ 11 to $ 15 per hour by July 2022, with incremental increases starting this month.

Walgreens said it would cost $ 450 million over the next three years to raise his salary. Around a third of these costs will be incurred in fiscal year 2022. The drugstore chain assumes that it can offset the impact of the investment in the normal course of business.

“Investing in and rewarding our team members is not only right, but it is also very important to retain and attract talented people and continue to fulfill our vital role in community health care,” said Roz Brewer, CEO of Walgreens in a press release.

The raise is one of Brewer’s first initiatives since becoming CEO. Brewer, the former Chief Operating Officer of Starbucks, recently appointed several top executives – including a newly created position as Chief Customer Officer.

Walgreens shares rose more than 2% on Tuesday. The stock is up nearly 25% since the start of the year, equating to a market cap of about $ 43 billion.

The company hired 25,000 full and part-time employees in the wake of the pandemic.

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