Walmart to spend more than $700 million on new round of employee bonuses

FILE PHOTO: A shopper who refused to wear a mask is seen leaving a Walmart store in Bradford, Pennsylvania

(Reuters) – Walmart Inc said on Thursday it would spend more than $700 million on bonuses as the retailer compensates its U.S. employees for helping meet a surge in demand for essential goods during the COVID-19 crisis.

The company, like many supermarket chains, was pushed to hire hundreds of thousands of new hourly workers during the pandemic, incurring billions of dollars in costs to keep stores operating safely.

Walmart, which is also the largest employer in the United States, said the additional spending brings the total 2020 quarterly and special bonuses to more than $2.8 billion.

The latest bonus announcement includes $319 million in quarterly bonuses paid in November and about $388 million in special cash bonuses to be paid to full-time and part-time associates later this month.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)