A store manager at a Walmart Supercenter oversees hundreds of associates who work across a variety of departments, including food, apparel, pharmacies and auto centers. These stores often attract scores of shoppers and bring in millions of dollars in sales each year. At the start of the Covid pandemic, store managers were given even more responsibilities as the company adapted to changing consumer behavior, including managing e-commerce capabilities like in-store pickup for online orders and navigating goods that are out of stock as well as excess inventory.
“It’s fair to say that we’re asking them to act like owners and to think like owners,” John Furner, the chief executive of Walmart U.S. who was previously a manager at a company store, said in a briefing with reporters.
The size of the stock grant to managers will be based on the Walmart store format. Store managers at Supercenters will be eligible for the most, up to $20,000 a year. For the other two tiers of stores, which are often smaller and have fewer departments, managers will be eligible for $10,000 or $15,000 in annual stock grants.
Retailers have sought ways to retain workers as people moved in and out of jobs throughout the pandemic in search of higher wages and more opportunities. Until recently, Walmart has concentrated on increasing wages for store associates. Turnover within Walmart’s stores stabilized after 2022, and the company feels good about its staffing levels, Mr. Furner said.
“The store manager ranks have been more stable the last couple of years,” he said.
“We’re keeping store managers in their location a bit longer and it’s good for an entire team to have a manager for a few years versus a year or something less than that,” he added. “So that’s a good sign.”