retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Two stories about how a pair of retailers are trying to get more competitive when it comes to hiring and keeping employees:

•  CNBC reports that "as retailers fiercely compete for workers, CVS Health said Wednesday it is slashing education requirements for job candidates and giving employees a raise.

"The drugstore chain said it will boost hourly pay as soon as this month and ultimately hike its minimum wage to $15 an hour as of July 2022. Its current starting wage is $11, but CVS said about two-thirds of employees already make more than $15 an hour.

"As part of that new wage structure, the company said some roles — such as pharmacy technicians and call-center representatives — will get an increase, too, even though they already have higher starting rates."


•  Meanwhile, Business Insider reports that "Starbucks will give hourly workers a raise this October, and raise the minimum wage to at least $12 in all stores.

"Employees hired before July 2021 will receive a 5% raise, with tenured partners getting a 6% raise. Starbucks will also raise the minimum wage in all markets to at least $12, and up to or above $15 in some markets, a Starbucks spokesperson told Insider.

"Starbucks previously gave US workers raises in December 2020, with an increase of at least 10% for all baristas, supervisors, and cafe attendants … The coffee chain also bumped starting wages by 5% and increased the amount that Starbucks pays over the local minimum wage in all markets. More than half of Starbucks workers already make $15 or more, Starbucks confirmed.

"The upcoming October raises are accelerated plans originally intended for January 2022. They're part of a plan to reach a minimum wage of $15 for all workers in the next two to three years, the spokesperson said."

KC's View:

Everybody is competing for the same workforce, and moves like these are establishing the floor, not the ceiling.