In an effort to attract talent in a tight labor market, Macy’s is the latest retailer to sweeten its benefits and wages. The department store chain announced Monday that it would raise the minimum wage for new and existing employees to $15 per hour by next May. According to the company, once the higher pay is implemented, Macy’s average base pay will be more than $17 per hour, and the average total pay will be $20 per hour.

Macy’s is also introducing an education benefit that will cover all tuition, books, and fees. Macy’s will collaborate with Guild Education on the program, which will offer bachelor’s degrees, boot camps, English language learning, and professional certificates, among other things. Macy’s estimates that the program will cost $35 million over the next four years.

In doing so, Macy’s joins a growing list of companies that offer college tuition and textbooks in order to attract employees. Target, Walmart, Chipotle, and Starbucks already provide comparable benefits.

This program removes a major barrier to accessing education jobs and will help our colleagues to further develop their skills and grow their careers and earning potential,” said Danielle Kirgan, chief transformation and human resources officer at Macy’s.

Having an adequate number of employees on hand, both in stores and around warehouses, will be especially important for retailers during the holiday season. More shoppers are itching to get out of the house and crowd into malls searching for gifts. Macy’s previously stated that it planned to hire 76,000 full- and part-time employees during the holiday season, in line with its pre-pandemic holiday staffing. Macy’s shares are up more than 177% year to date, bringing the company’s market cap to $9.7 billion.

Source: CNBC

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