Walgreens Boots Alliance, the drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance, announced Tuesday that it would gradually raise hourly workers’ wages to $15 an hour. This goal is set for November 2022.
Initial pay increases will be implemented in October. Although the current starting wage for the company is $10 an hour, approximately half of its 190,000.00 hourly workers earn more than $15 an hour.
Retailers are competing for workers in an increasingly competitive labor market. CVS Health, a rival, increased its minimum wage and eliminated its education requirements. CVS will raise its hourly rate to $15 from $11 in July 2022. Phased increases will be made starting this month.
Walgreens estimates that it will take $450 million to raise its payments over the next three years. The fiscal 2022 budget will bear about a third of these costs. The chain of drugstores stated that it expected to offset the costs of the investment within its normal business activities.
Roz Brewer, Walgreens CEO and President, said in a press release that “Investing and rewarding our employees is not only right but it’s important to retain and to attract a talented workforce and continue to play our critical role as community health care providers.”
Brewer’s initial initiative as CEO is the wage increase. Brewer, Starbucks’ former chief operating officer, recently appointed several top executives, including a newly created position, chief customer officer.
Walgreens shares rose more than 2 percent on Tuesday. The stock is up almost 25% since the beginning of the year. This puts its market cap at $43 billion.
During the pandemic, the company hired 25,000 additional workers, both part-time or full-time.