Wal-Mart ripple effect begins with this retailer

Let the wage war begin.

Less than a week after Wal-Mart announced that it would raise wages for 500,000 employees to $9 an hour in April, off-price retailer TJX said in its fourth-quarter earnings report that it, too, will boost pay.

Getty Images A TJ Maxx employee and customer at a store in Washington, D.C.

Getty Images
A TJ Maxx employee and customer at a store in Washington, D.C.

The parent company of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods said Wednesday its full- and part-time hourly U.S. employees will earn at least $9 an hour starting in June. In 2016, all hourly U.S. workers who have been with the company for six months or more will earn at least $10 an hour.

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“At TJX, we attribute our success over the last 38 years primarily to the people we have hired who have remained focused on our mission of delivering consumers amazing values,” CEO Carol Meyrowitz said in the company’s earnings release.

“This pay initiative is an important part of our strategies to continue attracting and retaining the best talent in order to deliver a great shopping experience for our customers, remain competitive on wages in our U.S. markets, and stay focused on our value mission.”

TJX said the combination of its investments in its employees, incremental investments to support growth, and pension costs will hurt its 2016 earnings per share growth by 4 percent.

Because of Wal-Mart’s role as the world’s largest retailer, experts last week forecast that other companies would follow its footsteps, in an effort to attract—and better retain—employees.

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“What I’ve been telling people is Wal-Mart just raised the federal minimum wage,” Maryam Morse, senior principal and retail practice leader at Hay Group, said ahead of TJX’s announcement.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

Other retailers have taken similar steps to boost employee loyalty. They include Gap, which last year increased the minimum hourly rate for its U.S. employees to $9, and set it rise again to $10 in June.

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