In uncertain economic times — take the coronavirus pandemic, for instance — dollar stores expectedly tend to do well. However, those benefits might not extend to their workforce; in fact, a new study shows that their employees are some of the lowest paid in the retail industry.
According to investment banking firm UBS, which analyzed the employee-reported salaries of 25 major nationwide retailers in the United States, Dollar General pays its workers the least at $9.68 an hour on average. The report found that other discount chains pay around the same, with Dollar Tree and Dollar King following closely at a respective $10 and $10.11 per hour on average.
For comparison, big-box players Walmart and Target compensate their employees at a higher rate of $13.08 and $13.21 every hour, respectively. Membership-only warehouse club Costco, on the other hand, pays workers an hourly rate of $17.60. (All figures are based on the calculated averages of reported salaries.)
The report comes five months after Dollar General revealed plans to devote an additional $25 million to retail, distribution and fleet employee bonuses. (It brings the company’s total investment in “employee appreciation bonuses” to roughly $60 million.) As the COVID-19 health crisis took hold in the U.S., the chain — with more than 16,300 stores across 45 states — made plans to hire 50,000 workers by the end of April to keep up with “heightened demand for household essentials.”
What’s more, Dollar General made a $250,000 donation to its Dollar General Employee Assistance Foundation, which offers financial aid to workers experiencing hardships amid the outbreak. Today, the United States federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 per hour — the same rate it’s been when it got its last boost in 2009. Over the past few years, retailers like Walmart and Target as well as e-commerce behemoth Amazon joined the list of companies that have raised their starting hourly wages for employees in order to attract and retain talent — and perhaps even motivate their existing workforce.
Today, heightened digital demand and the revolving need for essential goods have led retailers to staff up their packing, merchandise assembly, shipment and customer service departments. However, a study released early this month suggested that many companies with ambitious hiring plans this year face a new hurdle in finding qualified and interested candidates to fill these roles.
More from Footwear News