Macys Boosts Its Hourly Wage to $15 Amid U.S. Labor Crunch

Kirgan added that the educational program doesn’t require employees to continue working for Macy’s after the degree has been completed.

Macy’s Inc. became the latest retailer to offer employees higher pay and sweetened benefits as U.S. companies struggle to attract needed workers. 

The department-store chain will raise its minimum pay rate to $15 an hour across the company by next May. Macy’s is also starting an education benefit program for workers that covers the cost of tuition, books and fees, according to a statement from the company released Monday. 

Once the higher pay goes into effect, Macy’s average base pay be more than $17 an hour, the company said. The education program, which will cost $35 million over the next four years and will be offered in partnership with Guild Education, will cover bachelor’s degrees, high-school completion courses, English-language classes and professional certificates, among others. 

“In the job market people have choices. They can be choosy about who they work with and how long they work at a particular company,” Danielle Kirgan, Macy’s chief transformation and human resources officer, said in an interview. “We recognize that choice. We want to make sure we’re attracting a colleague that wants to be able to improve their skills.” 

Kirgan added that the educational program doesn’t require employees to continue working for Macy’s after the degree has been completed. 

She said the moves will help Macy’s achieve its Polaris plan, which is the retailer’s strategy to boost its performance via online sales, an expanded loyalty program and higher-margin private labels. That’s because the higher pay and new benefits, which also include an additional paid day off, will increase worker motivation, Kirgan said.  

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