Money Minute: Walmart Weighs Raising Wages; DIY Retailers' Hiring Spree

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Two of the nation's largest retailers weigh-in on paying their workers a higher minimum wage.

Walmart Stores (WMT) is reportedly evaluating the added cost of a higher minimum wage against the potential revenue it would gain from having millions of low-wage workers with more money to spend, according to Bloomberg News. Many companies that pay their workers near the minimum wage worry that President Obama's proposal to boost the rate to $10.10 an hour would hurt profits.

Retailer Gap (GPS) isn't worried. The company says it will increase the minimum wage for its workers to $9 an hour this year, and $10 an hour next year. The company expects to gain a competitive advantage in attracting the best employees.

Home-improvement retailer Lowe's (LOW) will hire 25,000 workers to handle the seasonal rush of business this spring. But that number sounds better than it really is. That's because Lowe's hired 45,000 people last spring. Rival Home Depot (HD) recently said it's bringing on 80,000 seasonal workers, about the same as it did a year ago.

The world's largest social networking firm is buying one of the biggest messaging services.
Facebook (FB) is spending a cool $19 billion to acquire WhatsApp, an Internet-based text messaging service that allows users to bypass wireless carriers and text for free. Fast-growing WhatsApp claims that 70 percent of its 450 million subscribers use the service every day.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 90 points Wednesday, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) lost 12 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) slid 35, snapping its 8 session winning streak.

One stock to watch today is Safeway (SWY). The supermarket chain says it's considering a possible sale of the company. It has held talks about a deal, but didn't identify the potential bidders. In addition to its namesake stores, California-based Safeway also operates Vons and Randalls stores.

The Sbarro restaurant chain is going on a diet. Less than a year after emerging from bankruptcy, the company plans to close 155 of its nearly 1,000 restaurants.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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16 Comments

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Adam

Listen you left wing pinheads. Raising the minimum wage will just make the COST of products more and lower hiring. I OWN a businesss with 110 employees and most make $10 an hour already or better. If you raise mimimum wage to $10 then they will ALL want raises. Guess what? I have to raise costs so I have to raise prices, its called economics. ANd unlike your bologna global warming , thats a fact !

February 20 2014 at 4:08 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Adam's comment
hsenpfeffer

Guess what you wrong wingnut blowhard. If your business requires other people to be paid so little that they have to go on welfare to survive then your "business" is bullshit and does not deserve to survive. I should not have to be paying for the welfare to allow people to survive when businesses are too cheesy and cheap to pay a living wage. And unlike your wrong wingnut nonsense that lead to financial collapse and bailouts in 2008 that is a fact!

February 20 2014 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tvsubdoer

We now have a country of haves and have nots. Not much left in the middle. The haves can afford representation to protect what they have, and....also protection from the have nots, in order to have more. The have nots are expected to serve and service the haves and to shut up and be thankful they have an income, no matter how low it may be. Otherwise....they can go live in the streets.....just not the streets of any haves town. They don't want to have to look at the have nots. Wealth has loyalty only to more wealth. Should the economic roof cave in on America and the country is no longer suitable to gain personal and corporate wealth, the exodus from this country to places where wealth will be protected and will grow, by those with the means, will be stunning......and the absence of their wealth, when they trade flags, will complete the total collapse of our house of cards. Then the wealthy will devise ways to pick the carcass clean.....for a profit. What do you think happened to all those yuppies that used to say, "He who dies with them most toys wins.".....? They are now the people who say, "Hurrah for me, I got mine." Is all this unthinkable to you? It's not to the haves.

February 20 2014 at 4:08 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
dexrmerritt

Heck all these companies wanting to raise the wage is crazy..if this BHO Administration would allow the private sector do their thing, these people wold not have to be under-employed and bellyache for higher pay...I know as well as a crippled cow that $7.25 is not enough to pay for anything..but that is not what it is designed to do...BHO Tear down that GAP!!

February 20 2014 at 3:51 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Jennifer Gennaro

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BNZ3NegM5w check it out, it will change the way you think of running a business!!!

February 20 2014 at 3:26 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
thedon300z

According to the CBO report this week pay increases to $10. per hour will (maybe) bring 900,000 out of poverty. But, and again according to the CBO it will result in the loss of 400,000 jobs, presumably throwing those people into poverty. The net gain if you are foolish enough to believe anything a government agency tells you, is 500,000 people may rise above the poverty limit. What is guaranteed is the consumer, meaning you, will pay for this increase in wages. Businesses do not pay wages or taxes. Their customers pay these expenses. Its simple economics. Everyone who votes should prove they have some basic understanding of this universal principal. If you want to pay someone more to make your hamburger then you will support without complaint an increase in wages for those frying and sacking a hamburger. If you think McDonalds, Burger King etc., are going to eat this increase in wage expense then you have to go to back of the economics aptitude. line. If you think burger fryer/sackers already receive too much money for the skill level they possess then you will get it the line with me.

February 20 2014 at 1:33 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
handyxman

More money to buy the junk that Walmart sells.

February 20 2014 at 1:14 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_regicides_of_Charles_I

What is Valentine Walton most famous for?

February 20 2014 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Iselin007's comment
Iselin007

My ancestor of course was innocent an came to the colonies here before the action above had occured. My ancestors even lived in the same areas of England going back to the Medieval ages.

February 20 2014 at 1:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
analyst0042

Automation is coming quickly to your favorite fast food place. Companies will soon eliminate many jobs..raising the minimum wage will just push the cost benefit more in favor of this change.
Will be similar to using using an Ipad...punch in your order..then pay by credit card...then your order will be placed/delivered. The greater the minimum wage goes up the more likely the decision to automate will be implemented. Home Depot/Lowes/ and Walmart already have some self check out lanes...the people who clamor for higher wages for unskilled jobs will soon be hoisted by their own petard.

Robots/automation are much cheaper to maintain than people and they never picket or complain.

February 20 2014 at 12:44 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Will they fire the managers that abuse and fired older workers? Will they rehire those older workers who were forced to obey the personal polices of those rotten managers? It's more than paying fair wages it's about removing dishonest managers!

February 20 2014 at 12:27 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
michealdunkin

HIGHER WAGES MEANS HIGHER TAXES! A WIN FOR WASHINGTON TAX AND SPEND POLICY WHILE WAGES GOING FROM $7.25 TO $10.00 HOURS IS NOT GOING TO BRING ANYONE OUT OF POVERTY. IT IS ALL A SHELL GAME TO GET YOUR VOTE!

February 20 2014 at 12:10 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply